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White Chicken Chili

White chili is called white chili for three reasons. One, it’s made with chicken, not beef. Two, it’s made with white beans. Three, it’s sometimes thickened with milk and flour, or cream.

Does white chili have a place at the Primal table? Absolutely. It’s easy to dispense with the milk and flour, since thickening the chili isn’t crucial to its flavor. What about the beans [1]?  You can keep them in the chili if you like (although perhaps in smaller amounts than most recipes call for). Or, substitute cubes of celery root to provide a creamy but slightly firm texture that’s similar to beans. Like beans, celery root also has a neutral, but earthy flavor.

Then, heap on the shredded chicken, [2] poblano peppers [3], cilantro, green onions and everything else that makes white chili so delicious. Without beans or dairy, this white chili is a lighter meal than regular white chili, but no less satisfying.

Servings: 4 to 6

Time in the Kitchen: 45 minutes



If starting with raw chicken thighs, then bring a medium pot filled with water to a gentle boil. Add the chicken thighs and simmer 20 minutes. Remove chicken from water and shred with a knife. Season with salt and set aside.

In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the butter and oil. Add the onion and garlic. Saute until the onions are soft and lightly browned. Add the cumin and coriander and sauté a few minutes more, careful not to burn the garlic.

Add 3 cups chicken stock. Add celery root. Simmer 20 minutes, or until celery root is soft and easily pierced with a fork.

Add poblano peppers and cooked chicken. Simmer 10 minutes more.
If you want more broth in the chili, add the remaining chicken stock and simmer until warm. Season the chili with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions or chopped jalapenos, and a squeeze of lime.