Quick Meals
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White Chicken Chilli

I had no idea what a white chilli was until today. I had bought some chicken and really wanted to do something different with it. I also wanted an excuse to use the food processor I had recently bought (I make no apology, every other recipe will require a FP from now on!). That’s when I came across the ‘white chicken chilli’. I saw this as a great challenge - most eating is done with the eyes - vibrant colours and textures, so how can a recipe that looks and even sounds pretty bland still have as much punch as a regular chilli?

If you google white chicken chilli, all the recipes involve shredding the chicken, leaving you with a pulpy, mushy stew. I really didn’t fancy that. So I thought may be I could try combining my curiosity of ground chicken with a white bean sauce. The result - juicy, tasty chicken meatballs in a cosy white bean sauce. I love it! I really do.

White Chicken Chilli


400 g diced chicken breast

2 cans of cannelli beans (keep liquid)

1 whole onion (half for chicken, half for sauce)

6 garlic cloves

handful of coriander leaves

1 1/2 tsp of ginger paste (reserve half tsp for sauce)

1 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch black pepper

1/2 scotch bonnet pepper (deseeded)

2 celery sticks

juice of half lime

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

pinch of salt

1 bay leaf

vegetable oil (to fry)

1 chicken or vegetable stock jelly

1 tsp tomato paste

few sprigs of fresh thyme

1 egg - whisked

2 tbsp cornmeal flour (medium coarse)

optional extra - sour cream, lime and tortilla chips


Utensils essentials: Food Processor


The Chicken:

1. clean the chicken with salt and lime.

2. place in the food processor - roughly chopped 1/2 onion, 4 garlics, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, ginger and lime juice. Pulse to finely chopped consistency.

3. Add the chopped chicken, turmeric, salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon to the food processor and pulse for 20-30 seconds until you have a mince like consistency. You may remove the bowl and stir the mixture by hand at this stage as you don’t want a smooth paste.

4. Add to the bowl, roughly chopped coriander, egg, stock jelly and cornmeal. Stir in and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the cornmeal to absorb the liquid.

5. Test the taste and texture of the chicken by frying a small spoonful in the frying pan. Adjust taste accordingly.

6. Proceed to gently fry the chicken meat balls: use a teaspoon to scoop the meat into a ball and fry in shallow oil, about 2 minutes on each side. I turned these ones 3 times as I wanted a rounder rather than a patty shape.

7. Keep the chicken balls warm in the oven while you prepare the sauce.


The Sauce:

1. In a frying pan saute the onion, 2 garlic and celery.

2. Add the ginger paste, cumin, cinnamon, black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and fry gently.

3. Drain the beans and add 3/4 to the pan, heated the beans through.

4. Take the remainder of the beans and the liquid and place in the food processor, pulse to a smooth paste. Add a little water if needed.

5. Add the bean paste to the beans and onions and add the bay leaf. Simmer slowly for 5 minutes then season to taste.

6. When ready to serve, pour beans into a dish and add the chicken meatballs on top. Serve with sour cream and tortilla chips for dipping!

1 Comment

  1. Mariposaoro says

    This looks so much like the bean stews that I cook.. Usually , I’ll add smoked sausages though, not chicken.. This sounds like a good alternative..l was thinking to do an all veggie one.. With Tofu balls.


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