This variation on a traditional beef chili features tender braised chicken in a cannellini bean and ale-spiked stew. To dress up the chili, top each serving with a spoonful of guacamole or some diced avocado and a scattering of shredded Monterey jack cheese. Serve with corn bread or tortilla chips on the side. If you don’t have a slow cooker with a flameproof insert, start the chili in a sauté pan on the stove top, then transfer the contents of the pan to your slow cooker before adding the beans.
Slow-Cooker Chicken and White Bean Chili
- 3 lb. (1.5 kg) bone-in chicken thighs, skinned (about 8 thighs)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbs. canola oil
- 2 green bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 small jalapeño chile, minced
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) tomato paste
- 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1 bottle (12 fl. oz./375 ml) brown ale
- 3 cups (18 oz./560 g) canned crushed fire-roasted tomatoes with juice
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) fresh orange juice
- 1 Tbs. honey
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 can (15 oz./470 g) white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) finely chopped fresh cilantro
1. Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
2. Put the slow-cooker insert on the stove top over medium-high heat, then add the oil and warm until hot. Add the bell peppers, onion, chile and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring, until the flour is fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Pour in the ale and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth, orange juice, honey, cumin, oregano, coriander, cinnamon, 1 tsp. salt and a few grinds pepper and bring to a boil.
3. Transfer the insert to the slow cooker, add the beans and stir to combine. Add the chicken thighs, immersing them in the sauce. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours. The chicken should be tender and opaque throughout.
4. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let cool just until it can be handled. Bone the chicken and discard the bones and any fat or gristle. Using your fingers or 2 forks, shred the meat into small bite-size pieces. Return the chicken to the insert, add the cilantro and stir well. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes to warm through.
5. Transfer the chili to individual bowls and serve immediately. Serves 6.
Learn to make the most of your slow cooker with this and other inspiring recipes in our Quick Slow Cooking, by Kim Laidlaw.