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Playing How to Make White Chicken Chili for Two

Ali Tila—the wife of Food Network personality, chef and cookbook author of 101 Thai Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die, Jet Tila—made this dish for him while they were dating. According to Jet, it was so good, it "sealed the deal" for him. Ali describes the chili as cozy and warm and comforting, and years later, it's still a family favorite. "It's the perfect date night food," she says, "but you can also freeze it and pull it out before a dinner party and act like you've been slaving over the stove all day."  

Pro Tip: The Tilas like to serve the chili in a large hollowed-out bread bowl. It's also great over rice. 

For more chili inspiration, check out Rach's Everything Chili and Italian Chili with Red Beans


  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into ½-inch-thick by 2-inch-wide tiles
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart cold chicken stock
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic paste or your favorite hot sauce
  • ½ cup roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped green New Mexico chilies
  • 2 cups canned white beans, drained
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 scallions, sliced


Serves: 2, with leftovers


For the spice mix, combine the chili powder, 1 ½ teaspoons of the cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat.   

Heat a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven over high heat for about 1 to 2 minutes, then add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the chicken and sear on all sides until light brown and opaque, but not cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and reserve. 

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the butter in the pot. Add the onions and garlic, reduce the heat to medium and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, 1 to 2 minutes.   

Stir in the flour and cook it in the fat and juices, making a roux, for about 1 minute.  

Pour in the cold chicken stock while whisking and whisk until any lumps are gone. Raise the heat to high and bring the stock to a boil. Stir in the brown sugar, oregano, remaining ½ teaspoon cumin and the chili garlic paste. Add chicken back to the pot, stir in the roasted chilies and reduce the heat to a simmer. 

Add the beans and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chili is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 4 to 8 minutes.  

When ready to eat, stir in the sour cream, then taste and adjust the seasonings. Garnish with the scallions.