A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 07, 2007
White Chili ("bowl of white")

White chili ("bowl of white") differs greatly from the “bowl of red” that is the Texas official state dish (chili). White chili contains chicken and white beans; “real” Texas chili contains meat and no beans.

Kansas City (not Texas) appears to have given birth to “white chili.” A recipe is first cited in print in the book Beyond Parsley: Beautiful Food (1984) by the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri.


Wikipedia: Chile con carne
White chili
Instead of a tomato-based sauce and red meat (beef), great northern beans and chicken breast meat can be substituted. The resulting dish appears white when cooked, and has more of an alkali bean taste, instead of the acidic taste of “regular” chili.

Simply Recipes
White Chili Recipe
My friend Steve-Anna, who has been tempting me with tales of her white chili for years, finally sent me the recipe. It originally comes from the Beyond Parsley cookbook, by the Junior League of Kansas City, MO. Both she and I have modified the base recipe. For the version pictured above, I used canelli beans instead of Great Northern which cook up faster than the 3 hours called for in the recipe. Also I’ve added some jalapeno pepper for more heat. The base recipe is tasty, but like most white chilis, a little mild. Steve-Anna’s notes for her modifications and a photo of her chili are at the end of the recipe.

1 lb large white beans, soaked overnight in water, drained
6 cups chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped (divided)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups diced cooked chicken
3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, chopped (optional)

1 Combine beans, chicken broth, garlic and half the onions in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are very soft, 3 hours or more. Add additional water (or watered-down broth), if necessary.

2 In a skillet, sauté remaining onions in oil until tender. Add chilies and seasonings and mix thoroughly. Add to bean mixture. Add chicken and continue to simmer 1 hour. Check seasoning, add jalapeno or serrano to level of desired hotness.

3 Serve topped with grated cheese. Garnish with cilantro, chopped fresh tomato, salsa, chopped scallions, and/or guacamole. Serve with fresh warmed flour tortillas or tortilla chips.

8-10 servings

12 February 1987, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA):
Ever heard of White Chili? That’s the kind the Mayor of Kansas City, Mo., makes. (See recipe).

11 January 1989, New York (NY) Times, pg. C7:
Other recipes, however, including Gayle Wilson’s white chili and Elaine Benson’s pomegranate sorbet, keep the fat and calories under control.

22 February 1990, Chicago (IL) Daily Herald, section 6, pg. 5, col. 2:
KANSAS CITY WHITE CHILI
This brilliant chicken chili is another K.C. culinary original. White chili makes a great party dish served over rice. Pass a bowl of Monterey Jack on the side.

1 pound white beans
6 cups chicken broth (approximately)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped (divided)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 (4 ounces each) cans chopped green chiles
1 1/2 pounds skinned boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips

Place the beans in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Heat to boiling; boil 2 minutes. Let stand 1 hour. Drain.

Combine the beans, chicken broth, garlic and 1 onion in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven. Heat to boiling; reduce the heat. Simmer, covered, until beans are almost tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion; cook 5 minutes. Do not brown. Stir in the chiles, cumin, oregano, cloves and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.

Stir the onion/chile mixture into the bean mixture. Add the chicken pieces. Heat to boiling; reduce the heat. Simmer partially covered 1 hour (adding more chicken broth if chili becomes too dry). Serves six to eight.

28 May 1990 Syracuse (NY) Herald-Journal, pg. D4, cols. 5-6:
WHITE CHILI
1 pound Great Northern beans
1 pound ground chicken, or 1 pound skinless and boneless chicken breasts, ground in a food processor
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
1 medium onion, peeled and minced
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon water
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon minced cilantro or parsley
1/2 cup medium salsa (...)

Google Books
Pasta & Co. by Request:
Coveted Recipes from Seattle’s Leading Take-Out
by Marcella Rosene
Seattle, WA: Sasquatch Books
1991
Pg. 220:
Our White Chili is a variation on a chili recipe that we first saw in Beyond Parsley, a book published by the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri. Serve the dish over beds of shredded iceberg lettuce and accompany it with Mexican or Southwest condiments, such as warm tortillas, corn chips, salsa, and guacamole.

11 May 1991, St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch, pg. 6D:
We won’t attest that there is less fat or less cholesterol in a bowl of white chili as compared with a bowl of red, but it certainly sounds healthier.

Google Groups: rec.food.recipes
Newsgroups: rec.food.recipes
Followup-To: rec.food.cooking
From: telenet!penguin!kpear...@uunet.UU.NET (Kirk Pearson)
Date: 3 Sep 91 20:08:36 GMT
Local: Tues, Sep 3 1991 3:08 pm
Subject: CHICKEN: White Chili

White Chili
(from the Washington Post, which reprinted it from the cookbook “The Food Pharmacy Guide to Good Eating” by Jean Carper)
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
5-6 cups canned white beans with liquid
1-2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 cups chopped onions
1 Tbsp olive oil
4-oz can chopped green chilies
1 poblano chili, seeded and chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
dash hot pepper sauce
4 cups poached, skinless chicken breast meat, cubed
shredded cheese, chopped scallions or salsa, for garnish

Directions:
In a 4-quart casserole combine the drained beans with the chicken broth.  In a small saucepan, saute the garlic and onions in the oil until translucent and soft.  Add the chilies and seasonings and mix
thoroughly.  Add the onion- chili mixture to the beans.

Add the chicken cubes and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is heated through.  Add more chicken broth if needed and heat through.  Seve with a compatible mixture of some of the suggested garnishes.

Google Groups: rec.food.cooking
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking
From: (Brian C. Heck)
Date: 3 Jun 92 20:06:21 GMT
Local: Wed, Jun 3 1992 3:06 pm
Subject: REQUEST: White Chili recipe

Anyone have a recipe for this beast?  It’s something like chili but with only white beans, chicken instead of beef, no tomatoes, celery, small portions of onions, and black pepper.  (in other words, it’s not at all like chili, except in name)

14 October 1992, San Antonio (TX) Express-News, pg. 6B;
Try a bowl of white for a fiery sensation

13 April 1993, Waterloo (Iowa) Courier, pg.  C1, cols. 6-7:
WHITE CHILI
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine or butter
4 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 cups water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
3 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
2 teaspoons ground red chilies
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 (16-ounce) cans great northern beans, undrained
1 medium tomato, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Corn tortilla chips

Cook onion and garlic in margarine in 4-quart Dutch oven until onion is soft, about 53 minutes. Stir in chicken, water, basil, bouillon, chilies, cloves and beans. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Garnish with tomato and cilantro and serve with tortilla chips. Makes 6 servings.

3 November 1993, Casa Grande (AZ) , pg. 7, cols. 1-2:
(Photo caption: “SOUTHWEST WHITE Chili combines boneless, skinless chicken breast, green chilies, chicken broth and kidney beans for a hot, tasty meal.")
SOUTHWEST WHITE CHILI
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup chicken broth
One 4-ounce can chopped green chilies
One 19-ounce can white kidney beans (cannellini), undrained
McCormick Spice Blend:
1 teaspoon California Style Blend Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Oregano Leaves
1/2 teaspoon Cilantro Leaves
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon ground Red Pepper
Additions:
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Sliced green onions

Heat olive oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove chicken with slotted spoon, cover and keep warm.

Add chopped onion to saucepan and cook 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, green chilies and McCormick spice blend and simmer for 20 minutes.

Stir in cooked chicken and kidney beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with cheese and onions.

Makes 4 servings.

17 November 1993, North Hills News Record (Warrendale, PA), pg. A12, col. 5:
The Grines like to sample Southwest cooking. A current trend in Southwest chili cooking is white chili made with cubed chicken breast and white cannellini beans.

24 January 1994, Ironwood (MI) Daily Globe, pg. 11, col. 1:
Fresh Tomato White Chili is the creation of Roger Disbrow, a student at Disney Culinary Apprenticeship Program in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and winner of the Celebrate Fresh Tomatoes recipe contest. The contest was open to culinary students at chef training schools.

White Chili is made with white kidney beans, chunks of chicken and fresh tomatoes. Serve with a topping of sour cream, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro.

25 January 1995, New York (NY) Times, pg. C3 ad:
Santa Fe White Chili
3 TB Goya Olive Oil
2 lbs. ground turkey or chicken
1 packet Goya Sazon sin Achiote
1 TB each Goya Adobo with Pepper and Goya Cumin
1 TB minced fresh garlic
2 TB Goya Recaita
3 Goya Jalapeno Peppers, drained & diced
1 packet Goya Chicken Bouillon
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup flour
3 cups water
1 can Goya Cannellini Beans, drained & rinsed
1 4 oz. can Goya Pimientos, chop for garnish

In large skillet, heat oil. Saute garlic and onion on medium flame until wilted. Add turkey, saute for 3 minutes more. Sprinkle with flour and stir constantly, until mixture thickens. Add remaining ingredients, except beans and pimientos. Simmer on low, covered for 30 minutes, stirring twice. Add beans & heat through. Serve in crusty bread bowl and garnish with pimientos. Serves 6-8.
(Goya ad—ed.)

Google Books
More Cooking Secrets of the CIA:
The Companion Book to the Public Television Series
by the Culinary Institute of America
San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books
1997
Pg. 64:
WHITE CHILI
Adjust the seasonings in this recipe to create your own signature “bowl of white.”

1 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 cup dried white beans
Six 6-inch round loaves of bread
1/4 cup olive oil
8 ounces ground chicken or turkey
1/4 cup minced onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno chili
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 pound cooked chicken or turkey, shredded
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded white Cheddar cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 1/2 cups sliced scallions, including green tops
1 cup diced tomato (...)

Community -CookingLight.com
Diane A.
12-04-2005, 02:08 PM
Anyone have the cookbook Beyond Parsley ? I believe it’s from the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri. I’m looking for the White Chili recipe. I’ve heard so many great things about this book (and Above & Beyond Parsley too) that I’m putting it on my Christmas list, but until then if anyone could post the recipe for White Chili I would appreciate it. TIA.
Diane
----------------------------------------------------------------
dorothyntototoo
12-04-2005, 03:08 PM
I’ve never made this but here’s the recipe. I live in Shawnee.

WHITE CHILI - from Beyond Parsley

1 lb. large white beans
6 c. chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped (divided)
1 T. oil
2 (4 oz. ea.) cans chopped green chilies
2 tsp. ground cumin
1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 c. diced cooked chicken breasts
3 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese

Combine beans, broth, garlic and half of the onions in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are very soft, 3 hours or more. Add more chicken broth, if necessary. In a skillet, saute’ remaining onions in oil until tender. Add chilies and seasonings and mix thoroughly. Add to bean mixture. Add chicken and continue to simmer 1 hour. Serve topped with grated cheese. 8-10 servings

Note: For a buffet, serve White Chili with some or all of the following condiments: chopped tomatoes, chopped parsley, chopped ripe olives, guacamole, chopped scallions, sour cream, crumbled tortilla chips or salsa.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Wednesday, November 07, 2007 • Permalink