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Winter White Chili

Sometimes inspiration is found in strange places. This Winter White Chili is as unconventional as its spam mail origins. Just call it a chicken and bean stew if you’re from Texas.


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper (I used a small dried habanero left over from the summer)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 cups white kidney beans (if using canned beans, 3 15-ounce cans, reserving ½ cup of bean liquid)
  • 1 cup homemade chicken stock or canned stock/broth
  • 1 7-oz can diced green chilies (I used 2 Tbsp of frozen Hatch chiles, care of some globetrotting, spice-loving friends)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 3/4 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • chopped fresh cilantro and avocado slices for garnish


  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil in over medium heat.
  • Add onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, cinnamon and dried red pepper. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chilies. Move onion mixture to one side of pan and add chicken chunks. Cook chicken until browned, about 5 minutes. Add beans, stock, corn and reserved bean liquid. Simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in yogurt to combine and adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Serve with cilantro and avocado slices.


Adapted from Bon Appetit’s White Bean Chili