White Bean Chicken Chili “Étouffée”

Baby, it’s cold outside! Buuuurrrrr!! To stay warm, I’m enjoying lots of nourishing bowls of soup, stews and chili. But really, who isn’t? This week, to warm up and stick with my on-going health goals (yipee!) I turned my recipe for White Bean Chicken Chili into an étouffée! See, I took the idea of white bean chicken chili but instead of making a full-blown soupy-stew, I decided to keep it thick and chunky and then pile it on top of a steaming hot bowl of rice. Oh, diggity!!

There’s a little roux action happening, and some holy trinity (cajun combo of onion, celery and bell pepper – although here I use poblano and jalapeño instead), and since I decided to pour it over rice it just reminds me of a cajun “étouffée”. Étouffée really just means to smother, and smother I did! I think you should do it, too!

White Bean Chicken Chili Etouffee

So, not only is this recipe, well, a complete meal, which I love, but aside from the simple rice part, it simmers all in one pot for super easy clean up. There is some slicing and dicing that needs to happen, but you can do that while the chicken sears, and I love any cooking that’s efficient like that. Start to finish, you can have everything ready in just about 30 minutes, and that’s always a win in my book.

One short cut I like is to use store-bought salsa to add flavor and veggies to a dish, so here I used the Frontera Grill Tomatillo Salsa by Rick Bayless. (FYI – that’s an affiliate link.) In fact, that’s my favorite brand of salsa, just in general. Warning: even a medium spice level made this dish spicy hot, which I love, but if you are cooking for kids mild is definitely the way to go.

White Bean Chicken Chili Etouffee

Since I was using chicken stock in the “chili” anyway, I used another cup to make my rice too. It’s always nice to add a little extra flavor, so using half stock and half water is an easy trick. Rice is so simple, which is why I just love it as a weekly meal solution. So, there you have it. Nothing fancy, super flavorful, extra easy…what more could you ask for on a healthy, wintery, freezing cold January night? Bon Appétit!

White Bean Chicken Chili Etouffee

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
White Bean Chicken Chili Etouffee

White Bean Chicken Chili “Étouffée”

  • Author: Emily Wilson
  • Prep Time: 3 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 33 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Cuisine: American


A White Bean and Chicken Chili inspired dish served thick and chunky over steaming hot rice is perfect for those cold weeknight suppers.


  • 1 1/4 pound chicken cutlets
  • 1+1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced small
  • 1 cup celery, diced small
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced small
  • 1 poblano, seeds removed, diced small
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup jasmine or basmati rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1+1 cup chicken stock, low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon flour, optional (see note)
  • 1 cup tomatillo salsa, mild
  • 1 can cannellini or navy beans, strained and rinsed
  • large handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lime
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Set a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and warm.
  2. Pat chicken cutlets dry and season with salt and pepper. Once oil is warm, gently lower the chicken into the pot. Oil should sizzle when you add the chicken. Sear the cutlets until golden brown then flip and sear the second side until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Transfer to a clean plate.
  3. In a separate saucepan, measure rice, 1 cup of chicken stock and 1 cup of water. Add a generous pinch of salt. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover pot, lower heat to simmer and cook gently until liquid is absorbed and grain is tender, about 15 minutes. Once rice is done, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. To keep warm until serving, set pot on the stove with lid slightly askew to allow steam to escape.
  4. While the chicken finishes searing, dice the onion, celery, jalapeño and poblano peppers. Once chicken is out of the pot, add another tablespoon of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Set over medium heat and add the diced veggies along with the dried cumin, garlic powder and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper. Sweat veggies until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Stir often. Lower heat if veggies begin to brown.
  5. Once veggies are tender, sprinkle with flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Pour in the tomatillo salsa and chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil to thicken, then lower heat to a gentle simmer.
  6. Using clean hands or two forks, shred chicken. Add back to the pot of sauce along with the strained and rinsed white beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then simmer gently for 3-5 minutes to marry the flavors.
  7. Remove from heat. Stir in a squeeze or two of fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro. Scoop rice into bowls and smother with the white bean chicken chili.


*For a gluten free alternative, you can leave out the flour, your sauce will just be a little thinner than a dish with flour. Still same great taste!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.