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Navy Bean And Chicken Chili

Navy Bean And Chicken Chili

A pressure cooker chili that stands out from the pack with moist, flavorful pieces of chicken in every bite.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, minced (3 cups)
  • 3 poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 1/2 large bunch or 1 small bunch cilantro, stems and leaves reserved separately and finely chopped
  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, stem removed, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic (8 to 10 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano or regular oregano, crushed with your fingers
  • 1 pound navy beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 5 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock or packaged low-sodium chicken broth
  • One 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, with juices
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon yellow cornmeal
  • Garnishes

  • Sour cream
  • Lime wedges
  • Minced red onion
  • Finely minced jalapeños
  • Grated Monterey Jack–cheddar cheese blend


  • Season the chicken with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, 1 teaspoon of the cumin, and 1 teaspoon of the chili powder.

  • Set a pressure cooker to the “browning” program and heat the olive oil (* see note). When it is hot, add the chicken breasts (in batches if necessary) and cook until they are golden on both sides and just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, tent it with foil or plastic wrap, and set aside.

  • Add the onions, poblano and serrano chiles, cilantro stems, chipotle chile, garlic, oregano, remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin, and remaining 1 teaspoon chili powder to the pressure cooker. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the beans, chicken stock, and canned chiles. Close and lock the lid, and set to “high pressure” for 15 minutes.

  • While the beans are cooking, shred the cooled chicken into bite-size pieces and set it aside.

  • Open the pressure release valve and allow the steam to escape. Unlock and carefully open the lid. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and the cornmeal, and stir to combine. Close and lock the lid, and reset to “high pressure” for 8 minutes.

  • Release the pressure, unlock, and carefully open the lid. The beans should be tender; if not, continue to cook them under pressure for 1 to 2 minutes longer.

  • Set the pressure cooker to the “simmer” program. Stir in the chicken and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is heated through, about 10 minutes.

  • Serve the chili in bowls, garnished with sour cream, lime wedges, minced red onion, minced jalapeños, grated cheese, and cilantro leaves.

  • *Note:  If you do not own a pressure cooker, this recipe can be prepared on the stovetop in a Dutch oven. Times will need to be adjusted accordingly.