This recipe for Chili Blanco (chicken and white bean chili) is a nice switch from traditional beef chili. It’s from the award-winning cookbook Lone Star to Five Star, published by the Junior League of Plano several years ago. This cookbook is filled with highly tested, foolproof recipes!


  • 2 cups dried Great Northern beans
  • 3 whole skinless chicken breasts
  • 3½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 Anaheim peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, chopped, or 2 (4-oz.) cans chopped green chiles
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 2 (10-oz.) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or Colby-jack cheese
  • Toppings: chopped tomatoes, green onions, fresh cilantro, jalapeño shredded jack or co-jack cheese


  1. Combine the beans with enough water to cover in a large saucepan and soak for 1 hour.
  2. Combine the chicken with 3½ cups water in a large covered saucepan. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken, reserving the broth, and cool. Shred into bite-size pieces, discarding the bones.
  3. Drain the beans and set aside. Heat the olive oil in the saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 10 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic, peppers, jalapeno, tomatoes with green chiles, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Cook for several minutes.
  4. Add the beans, reserved chicken broth, and chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Or until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Season with salt, to taste.
  5. Stir in the chicken and 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese before serving and cook until cheese melts and chili is heated through. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish as desired with the toppings. Makes 6 servings.

Note: You can substitute 4 cans Great Northern or navy beans for the dried beans and reduce the cooking time accordingly.

Barbara Walch

Barbara Walch joined the staff of Plano Profile in August 1986 and currently serves as Food Editor and Associate Publisher, Community Relations. In addition to writing Dining In, a monthly food feature,...