Rosemary Chicken Chili with Red Kidney Beans and Roasted Poblano

White chicken chili is a very contemporary creation, designed to lighten up the beefy original. Like a lot of chili fans (like me) you may not immediately embrace the idea, at least until you taste this version. Using cooked chopped chicken, rather than ground, and making sure the finished dish is properly thick and spicy results in a chili that truly sticks to the ribs and satisfies. And, if it doesn't sound too un-chili-like, this white and green ragout, with its large, pinkish-tan beans, is actually pretty. Serve the chili with corn tortillas and chilled Mexican beer, for a great cold weather supper.

4 pounds bone-in chicken breast halves, thighs and drumsticks
9 cups (about) canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
8 medium (about 1 1/2 pounds) fresh poblano chiles (see Note)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups finely chopped onions (from about 2 large)
8 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
2 fresh jalapeno chiles, stemmed, finely chopped
1 medium-large russet potato, peeled, finely chopped
4 cups cooked red kidney beans (from about 1 1/2 cups dried kidney beans)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

Arrange chicken pieces in single layer in large deep skillet. Add enough broth (about 8 cups) to just cover chicken. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Cover partially and cook until chicken is just cooked, turing chicken once, about 40 minutes. Cool chicken in broth.

Transfer chicken to cutting board. Strain poaching broth into 8-cup glass measuring cup. Spoon fat off top of broth. Add enough remaining canned broth to equal 8 cups broth total. Remove skin, bones and cartilage from chicken. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch chunks. Cover and refrigerate chicken pieces.

Char poblano chilies over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag 10 minutes. Peel and seed chilies and pepper. Cut chiles lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips.

Heat oil in large heavy enameled cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and jalapeno chiles. Cover and cook until onions are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add reserved 8-cups broth. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to simmer. Cover partially and simmer gently for flavors to blend, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Add potatoes and roasted poblano chiles. Cover and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add reserved chicken pieces and beans. Simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

DO-AHEAD TIP: For best flavor, try to make the chili at least 1 day in advance. Cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To serve, re-warm gently over low heat until hot.

NOTE: Poblanos are a distinctively flavorful and meaty Mexican chile. The name is sometimes misapplied (especially in California) to the Anaheim or New Mexico long green chile. Be sure you are buying the right one. Poblano heat varies. Taste a few strips of the roasted chiles, and if yours seem particularly spicy, you may wish to omit the jalapenos.

Recipe created exclusively for by Michael McLaughlin.

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