White Chili a la Bobby

Posted 9 years ago by Adam Gautsch

Finished product
Looking for a good winter weekend meal to cook? May I suggest white chili. Friend of OrangeCoat, Bobby McCormick provides a great recipe and one that is certainly fun to read. A couple of notes about this recipe. 1. Bobby is free market economist by profession and lifestyle. He doesn't expect you to follow this recipe word for word. Instead do what makes you happy and use this recipe as a guide. 2. The rest of this post is an email of Bobby's except the notes in italics. Those are mine. 3. All links are links to a Flickr photo set.

Looking for a good winter weekend meal to cook? May I suggest white chili. Friend of OrangeCoat, Bobby McCormick provides a great recipe and one that


for white people and their friends of any color
(emily says this sounds a bit racist, I meant no offense)
by Bobby McCormick

(with a little help from his friends) Inspiration and original concepts are due to R. Thompson, no credit due. he's got lots of credit at lots of banks and places like that) 2

good advice: read this recipe through entirely before starting. All things don't happen on the same day or at the same time on any given day. don't call me if you get screwed up. that's the way chili goes. and best of luck. enjoy.

The ingredients

  • get yourself some good CD music, Hank or Clapton or Buffet or Leon Redbone or thereabouts and put the music on the CD playing machine (not the stove). (This chili will not set if you listen to long haired kind of music when cooking it.) If a Braves game is not on you can not watch that in lieu of the music.
  • OK now you are ready assuming that you have all the necessary ingredients. (of course nobody knows what all the necessary ingredients are since we just use what we have in the frigidaire what some people call the ice box)


  • Go to the store one day ahead atime and buy some dry white beans if you don't already have some from your garden. Say about 2 pounds if you want a lot of chili. Just one pound if you don't have many friends coming for dinner. Put the beans in a grand sized cooking pot (or a large ceramic bowl) and cover with clean cold water. Make sure that water is at least 1-2 inches above the top of the beans. They will swell like a dead dog in summer heat. Set aside until first thing tomorrow morning. do whatever you want to until tomorrow. Personally, I like kissing up side my wife, but you do whatever you need to. I wasn't willing to wait another day for chili so I tried to quick soak the beans. It didn't work great. The beans stayed pretty al dente. If you've got a day to soak, let 'em soak.

BEAN PART, PART 2 (happens on the second day)

  • On the morning of the meal, when you are getting up and eating your donuts/grits, bring the beans to a boil.3 Instantly, turn the heat to low. Add a half a cup or so of chicken bullion powder (cubes are ok too). Add some Worcestershire (good bit) tiny bit of soy is ok if you like that sort of stuff. Add a lot of garlic, 3-4 segments, whole or sliced. Add a good bit (1/4 cup or so) white ground pepper. Stir frequently, cooking as low as possible, with a boiling bubble every minute or so. After about 5-6 hours of cooking like this, we will introduce the beans to the chicken. Remember to stir frequently and keep the boil as slow as possible. you can cook the beans covered for the first 2 hours or so, but let the lid off from halftime on. I went with chicken stock instead of bullion. I was happy.

THE CHICKEN PART OF THE RECIPE (this stuff all happens on the second day too)

  • Go to the store and get a big skillet if you don't already have one. Put that big skillet on your wood stove or cook top whatever. Turn it on saute temperature and put some olive oil in the pan. just cover the bottom of the pan good. not too much. Dice, but not too small, two bunches of green onions putting in too a good bit of the green stalk part. Don't let the skillet get too hot, it disturbs the onions. Now dice up two or three regular (or better yet, vidalia sweet) onions and put them too into the skillet. make sure that the heat is not too hot. you want the onions to turn translucent. Dice up two green bell peppers and add to the skillet. You can use a red bell pepper if you want. Dice some carrots or grate them. 4 or 5 will be enough. Add them to skillet. Add some garlic cloves or minced garlic. I like a lot but you be the judge. Saute these vegetables for a while, about 10 minutes maybe a bit longer. You decide when it looks really good and ready to eat, then add 2-4 pounds of cut up skinless, boneless chicken breasts. I like to cut the breast meat into cubes about twice the size of a sugar cube or maybe a little bit bigger, but you do what you want. This is where I improved a little. Instead of using olive oil, I fried up some bacon and used the bacon grease to saute up the veggies. I also reserved all the bacon. Some made it into the chili and some was added as a topper.
  • Add 5-6 (small) cans of el paso green chilies. It doesn't matter whether you get the diced or whole type. Some people think that the more chilies the better. I have never heard people complain about too many chilies. So find the crease. Put 10 cans if you want. If it turns out good call me, and say so. If not, eat in restaurants more often. Rinse the chilies out of the cans with a little clean water and put the water into the skillet. A long and a long, you can add clean water to make the chili the consistency that you desire. I don't usually cook with green chilies, but I'm glad I did. It provided some heat and unique flavor to the dish.
  • Now is the time to spice the dish. This is the tough part since I never measure anything. What I do is guess, wait a while, taste, and adjust. Start with a tablespoon or two of white ground pepper. At least a tablespoon of cumin Cumin is the most important chili spice ever. Don't skimp, not even a little bit.. Try some ground red pepper.Grind your own if you can. Pure ground chili is so much better than what they sell in the bottle as "chili spice". Do you like thyme and rosemary? put them if you do, but don't use much of these last two.
  • Saute the chicken/vegetables for at least 1 hour.


  • Put the beans and the chicken together and cook slowly for 2-4 more hours. The longer the better. Again, as slow a boil as possible. The dish is truly ready when the liquor takes the thickness of very runny mud, a chalky consistency.
  • Stir frequently. The brew will stick to the bottom of the pot if left too long between stirrings.
  • Taste at least once per hour, checking for adequate salt and a lingering pleasant after taste. If toward serving time your are missing the aftertaste, add some more pepper. Retaste in 30 minutes. Towards the end, you can tell that the chili is about to come if it sticks to the pot between stirrings, even when you are stirring it every couple of minutes or so. Turn off the heat at this point and get the table set.
  • Simmering

  • SERVE IN BOWLS OR ON PLATES WITH RICE AND PABST. A lot of people like white bread on the side for dipping and taking the heat off the lips. I'm a proud beer snob, but Pabst for a meal like this is proper and tasty.
  • Pick you own music, but Leon Russell is my favorite. The Wedding Album featuring Leon and Mary is hard to beat. In virtually all cases, something from Tejas is almost required. If Leon isn't available, try Jerry Jeff. Bob Wills? Hank Williams?


  1. (pronounced as whiiiite chi lie) (Back)
  2. I don't like writing papers without at least two footnotes, so this satisfies that requirement. Additional thanks go to two semi-great americans, rcc and e d who inspired the written encryption of these silly words. (Back)
  3. There is a great bean controversy whether you should cook the beans in the soaking water or drain and replenish. Good arguments are made on both sides, but after some experimentation and much laziness, I have adopted the "dance with the one that brung you" approach. Cook em in the soaking water. (Back)

This was my first run at white chili and it turned out okay. Next time the beans are soaking overnight for sure and I'll probably make less. I've got tons of leftovers. That being said, I was happy I added the bacon and next time more might be added.


Nobrainer ~ 9 years ago

I posted a white chili recipe nearly three years ago. Although my post suggests otherwise, I follow that recipe every time.

It's not as drawn out or complicated as Bobby's recipe, but you can add the Hank (or I suggest Hank III, as I'm a bit of a fan) and PBR as necessary.

Perhaps we need a white chili contest?

dave ~ 9 years ago

I've got absolutely no choice but to concur. A cookoff is indeed in order, since the weather is so uncharacteristically warm. ]

Adam Gautsch ~ 9 years ago

I'm intrigued. How do we have a virtual chili cook off?

Nobrainer ~ 9 years ago

At my convenience, hopefully in the next week or two, I'll cook a batch, freeze it, pack it in dry ice, and overnight it to Orange Coat World Headquarters.

dave ~ 9 years ago

I just made this tonight and oh my god.

Adam Gautsch ~ 9 years ago

Glad you enjoyed. We need photo evidence. Maybe start a white chili Flickr group.

dave ~ 9 years ago


I agree, a white chilli group is in order.

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