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Chicken and Chickpea Chili

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6 to 8

Become the MVP at your house tonight by making this soul-warming chicken chili. The chili is rich, flavorful and satisfying, and the mix of bacon crumbles and fresh toppings means everybody at the table will be a fan.


  • 4-1/2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat, and  cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 2 to 4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh red bell pepper
  • 1 fresh habanero chile, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2-1/2 to 3 cups chicken broth (homemade or lower-salt store-bought)
  • 3-1/2 cups cooked navy beans (home-cooked or canned from two 15-oz. cans, rinsed and drained)
  • 3-1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (home-cooked or canned from two 15-oz. cans, rinsed and drained)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • Garnishes: sour cream, cooked crumbled bacon, diced tomato, sliced scallions

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 550
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 210
  • Fat (g): 23
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Cholesterol (mg): 125
  • Sodium (mg): 570
  • Carbohydrates (g): 50
  • Fiber (g): 16
  • Protein (g): 37


  • Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a heavy-duty 6-quart pot over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Pat the chicken dry, and season with 1-1/2 tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper. Cook half of the chicken, undisturbed, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. Add another 1 Tbs. oil to the pot, and brown the remaining chicken; transfer to the plate along with any liquid from the pot.
  • Add the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. of oil, the onion, and garlic to the pot. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper, habanero, chili powder, cumin, thyme, and coriander, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Pour in 3/4 cup water, turn the heat up to high, and cook, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits, until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
  • Turn the heat down to medium low. Purée 1-1/2 cups of the beans in a blender or food processor, adding a little stewing liquid as needed, and then stir the puréed beans into the stewing liquid in the pot. Return the chicken, along with any accumulated juice, to the pot. Add the remaining whole beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender, about 1 hour. If the chili gets too thick, thin it with a little water.
  • Stir in the lime juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with the garnishes.


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Reviews (7 reviews)

  • pinotgal | 04/02/2021

    I have made many times - we prefer the chicken shredded and have made with both thighs and with oven roasted chicken breasts that I shredded and added.

  • carolfriends | 12/21/2020

    This is the best chili ever.

    Note: 1 cup dried beans equals about 3 cups cooked beans.

    I substitute a dried chipotle chile for the habanero chile. Reconstitute the chili in simmering water for about an hour. Then add chile to blender when pureeing the beans. The chile adds a wonderful flavor and color.

  • coraldiaz | 01/28/2019

    Love, love, love! My all-time favorite chili recipe. Always a winner. I am not a fan of super spicy foods so instead of habanero pepper I added two cans of Rotel mild tomatoes with green chilies. It was perfect.

  • siriius | 03/24/2014

    We loved it, but I would either use less Habanero or a Jalapeo instead. It was just too much heat for me.

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