Simple Sundays | Chicken Chili

All I wanted was some cornbread. Just some sweet, crumble in your mouth cornbread. And that meant I needed to make some chili. Of course I could have just made the cornbread all by itself. But cornbread needed its partner. I found myself craving comfort…

Simple Sundays | Chicken Chili

All I wanted was some cornbread. Just some sweet, crumble in your mouth cornbread. And that meant I needed to make some chili.

Of course I could have just made the cornbread all by itself. But cornbread needed its partner. I found myself craving comfort food with the return of the rain – the continuous drizzle outdoors begged for something warm and cozy. As raincoats and umbrellas hung to dry, I quickly whisked together the ingredients for my cornbread.

But what about the chili?? I didn’t have time to coax my normal beef chili on a stove for hours. Frankly, I just didn’t want any beef at all. I had never tried Chicken Chili before, but it seemed to be a logical solution, especially when I saw this recipe. With dinnertime less than half an hour away, I blended and stirred, shredded and tasted. And tasted. And tasted again. I couldn’t stop licking the spoon…it was good. Maybe even better.

And just like that, the tables turned. I did enjoy the cornbread, oh yes. That craving was definitely satisfied. But I actually enjoyed the Chicken Chili better.

Chicken Chili

4-6 servings.

Gone are the days when I used to think that making chili required hours of bubbling on the stove. This chili comes together in about half an hour, is full of flavor, and like all good chilis, tastes great the next day. Oh, and one more thing. It's oh so good for you.


2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 14.5-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles (I like the one from Muir Glen Organics)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 15-ounce cans pinto beans (I used chili beans in sauce)

Optional Garnish
chopped fresh cilantro
sour cream


In a small sauce pan, poach the chicken breasts: cover the chicken with water, season with a little salt and pepper, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked and tender.

While the chicken is poaching, purée the chicken broth, the diced tomatoes with green chiles (and the juices), onion, garlic, cilantro, peanuts, cumin, and salt in a blender until smooth.

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over moderately high heat. Carefully pour in the sauce and bring to a boil. Let it boil uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the sauce boils, shred the chicken. Stir the shredded chicken and beans with their sauce into chili, reduce heat to simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro and sour cream, if desired. And of course, don't forget the cornbread*.

Slightly adapted from Chicken Chili, Gourmet (2007), via Epicurious.


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  1. Kita

    lol, its amazing the lengths we’ll go for a slice of good old cornbread. This chicken chili does look perfect. I tried chicken in place of been once last year and loved it. You’ve reminded me a batch of that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

  2. Libbie

    I made this for dinner tonight and it’s already a favourite! It was so delicious! I used normal chopped toms with chipotle sauce instead of the chilli version and kidney beans instead of pinto, but everything turned out great. Thank you so much :)

  3. Liz

    Gorgeous chicken chili! My version is white, but this looks like a delightful option…and the weather today is perfect for a big potful!

  4. Rochelle (@AcquiredLife)

    Love! Chicken is such a versatile meat and it cooks so quickly, this is perfect for a quick chili. Oh and those corn breads you have going on there, yeah I NEED me some of those.

  5. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }

    Oh HOW hungry are you making me! This chili looks soooo tasty. I just wish I could transport both those bowls over so Hubby and I would have dinner all ready right now. This is a must make. Love, love your photos!!!! :-)

  6. Dramatic Pancake

    Half an hour to make? Healthy? Flavorful? Um, yup! I can definitely do that! This just looks so incredibly rich and flavorful, and I love that it uses chicken in place of beef. Can’t wait to try this!

  7. Simply Tia

    BEAUTIFUL photography!!!

    This chili looks perfect! I’ve never tried making chili with chicken but if it tastes as good as yours look, then I NEED to try it soon.

    Have a wonderful day!

  8. Maureen

    I’ve never had chicken chili before and now I can’t imagine having it any other way. It looks delicious!

  9. Ann

    Delish! I like a good chili and even more with corn bread! Your photos (and bowls) are stunning….as usual!

  10. Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Healthy comfort food is my kind of comfort food. Can’t wait to make this, and I know I’ll add some chipotle chili powder as well – I can’t get enough of it!

  11. Janet@FCTC

    This looks fantastic. I usually make my chicken chili a white creamy one but I will have to try this version next time.

  12. Katie @ Epicurean Mom

    I LOVE chili but have never had chicken chili! Sounds fantastic!! We are finally having cold weather in So Cal, so this will be the perfect warm soup I can make! :)

  13. Holly

    Love it. I’m always looking for chili recipes that don’t use beef. Thank you so much!

  14. Jean

    Liren, since you mentioned chili the other day, I have not been able to get my mind off it. And I wanted to make it with chicken, too. I think I’ve seen recipes for “white chili”? You have inspired me to pull out my slow cooker and give it some love with all your delicious posts (though I love that this took no time at all to prepare).

    This looks so perfect for today. I am off to church and then to the grocery store. I think chili is in my very near future thanks to you. All I would need is some of that cornbread…

    Happy Sunday!

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