Chili with Chicken and Beans

chili with chicken and beans
Photo: Sang An

If you like, spice up this robust chili by adding chopped fresh hot chile peppers. You can also replace the canned beans with cooked dried beans; if you do so, use the bean cooking liquid to replace half the chicken stock.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 3 teaspoons whole cumin seed

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped (about 3 cups)

  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 1 ¾ pounds), cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • One 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes with their juice

  • One 4-ounce can green chiles, finely chopped

  • 2 ½ cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock, skimmed of fat

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

  • 4 cups canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) low-fat sour cream, for garnish (optional)

  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large, heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil and cumin seeds over medium heat until the cumin is lightly toasted and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper, and reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and lightly golden, about 10 minutes.

  2. Raise heat to medium, and add the chicken, chili powder, oregano, and bay leaf to pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is seared on the outside and coated thoroughly with spices, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and green chiles, and stir to combine. Cook 5 minutes. Add stock, salt, and beans; season with black pepper, and stir to combine.

  3. Cover; simmer. Stir contents, then replace lid to partially cover pot. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until chili is thickened and chicken is tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours.

  4. Divide chili among six bowls; garnish with sour cream and cilantro leaves, if desired. Serve immediately.

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