Chicken & White Bean Chili

By Jennifer Segal,

Metrocurean contributor,

Forget about all those chili recipes made with ground beef and store-bought seasoning packets. This is a healthy chili you can actually feel good about eating. It’s loaded with veggies, lean ground chicken and beans but, don’t worry, it’s still hearty and delicious — even your manly football fanatics will love it.

At first glance, the list of ingredients looks long but it’s really just a lot of spices. While it simmers on the stove for almost two hours, active cooking time is only about 30 minutes. It’s important to use regular ground chicken — not the extra-lean all breast meat — and same goes if you're substituting ground turkey. Use Pomi brand boxed chopped tomatoes if you can find them…they’re better than canned and lend good texture. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread. Enjoy!

Chicken Chili with White Beans

serves 6-8

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons salt, divided

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups yellow onions, chopped (about 2 medium onions)

1 red bell pepper, diced

6 medium cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds ground chicken (not extra lean breast meat)

2-26 oz. boxes Pomi* chopped tomatoes or two 28 oz. cans chopped or diced tomatoes

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I use Swanson organic)

1 teaspoon sugar

1-15 oz. can small Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Make spice mixture by combining chili powder, cumin, coriander, red
pepper flakes, oregano, cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon salt in small
bowl. Mix well and set aside next to stove.

Heat oil in a
large, heavy-bottomed nonreactive** pot over medium heat. Add onions and
red bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10
minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring to prevent garlic from burning,
about two minutes more.

Increase heat to medium high and add
the ground chicken and spice mixture. As the chicken cooks, use a wooden
spoon to break the meat into very small clumps; cook until no longer
pink, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, chicken broth, remaining
teaspoon salt and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and
simmer, partially covered (set lid ajar so steam has a few inches to
escape), for about one hour, stirring occasionally.

Stir in
white beans and let simmer, uncovered, for about 50 minutes more, or
until meat is tender and flavors are well combined. For a soupier chili,
you can add additional water. For a thicker chili, simmer uncovered
until desired consistency is reached. Taste and add salt if necessary.

*Pomi boxed tomatoes are available at some regular grocers, Whole Foods and gourmet food shops.

nonreactive pot is made of a material that will not react negatively
with acidic ingredients. Stainless steel, enamel, glass and nonstick (as
long as there are no scratches in the nonstick coating) are all safe to
use. Do not use cast iron or aluminum.

Jennifer Segal is the founder and publisher of Once Upon a Chef, a cooking blog featuring easy and elegant recipes. Before launching her blog, Jennifer earned her culinary stripes working front and back of the house at some of DC's top fine dining restaurants, including L'Auberge Chez Francois, Sam & Harry's and The Caucus Room.

She has also done private catering and restaurant public relations. Jennifer is a graduate of the professional Culinary Arts Program at L'Academie de Cuisine.