End of Winter Countdown: Soul Warming Tomatillo Chicken Chili


It’s February 25th and it’s still very cold outside. I’ve lived in the south my entire life and there’s a reason why I still live here… I don’t really like the cold. I appreciate a little snow here and there, but I mostly appreciate those winters we have where I rarely have to leave home with more than a heavy jacket.

Last year in metro Atlanta we experienced snowpocalypse. All of us southerners were trapped on the streets and in our cars because of an inch of snow and an inch of ice. It was a terrifying time for the city and the only way you’ll understand how our city was crippled from ice is if you live here. Today, most of our city is shut down due to the fear of another approaching storm. It’s currently 33° outside today with a projected high of 38°. I think this year we are trying to be a little more cautious to keep from a repeat of last year. I’ll admit… I’m just ready for spring and the warm weather that it brings.

Since I’m in my nice warm home and i’m looking outside at a gloomy cold day, I figure it would be a great time to share my most recent cold weather meal. This recipe is for a Tomatillo Chicken Chili that will warm your heart, body and soul. I’m not a fan of beans and I avoid them at every cost. I was skeptical to develop a soup with white beans but after going grocery shopping with a friend and getting a little insight in the the world of chicken chili…. I was ready to take on the challenge.


I wish I could tell you that you can throw all these ingredients into a slow cooker and it will turn out tasty and delicious but I’m not sure if this is actually the case. I don’t actually own a slow cooker and I strongly believe that you can make delicious “slow cooked” food on the stove. My version comes together in about 30 minutes and it tastes better than any soup that’s been cooking for the last 10 hours in a crock pot (I might be a little biased).


This recipe uses ingredients that are present in most chicken chili recipes: chicken, beans, broth, and some type of pepper or green base. I decided to use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts because I believe there’s more flavor in the thigh (plus it’s harder to over cook chicken thighs). I use fresh jalapeño peppers and canned tomatillos to give the soup a little kick and exotic flavor.


The trick to this recipe is sautéing the chicken with onions, peppers, and garlic. Most recipes have you boil and shred the chicken before adding it to the soup. The flavor profile that’s developed in the chicken by cooking it with fresh seasonings ads depth of flavor to the rest of the soup.


I think every good chili should be served with some sort of cream or sauce and a side of tortilla chips. After I made the soup I realized I didn’t have sour cream so I topped it with plain greek yogurt (and it was heavenly).

I hope you get a chance to try this recipe out before the weather changes. I loved the recipe and I can’t wait to make it again.

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  • Difficulty: easy
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Serves 4


  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 jalapeño peppers seeded and minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbl olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 boneless chicken thighs
  • 3 cups chicken broth (preferably home made)
  • 2 – 15 oz cans Great Northern Beans with or without pork
  • 1 – 11 oz can whole tomatillos, chopped and with juice


  1. Heat olive oil In a dutch oven or large saucepan, over medium heat.
  2. Sauté onion, jalapeños, and garlic until soft,  3-5 minutes.
  3. Add in oregano, cumin, chili powder, and salt and stir to combine.
  4. Add chicken thighs to pan and brown on each side. Once browned, cover and cook until they are cooked throughout, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken from pan and cut into small cubes (or shred) and add back to pan.
  6. Add chicken broth, beans, and tomatillos to pan.
  7. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil.
  8. Boil until liquid is reduced by 1/3, 10 – 12 minutes.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm, with sour cream and tortilla chips.

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