Fridays from Home

Timothy’s white chili

Every so often an event comes up when I just feel like being one of the dudes, well almost.  Maybe it’s that I’m surrounded by boys all day, maybe it’s a nostalgic connection to watching college football with my dad…or MAYBE it’s just that  it’s really fun to lay on the couch, watch sports and eat fatty food.

Today is one of those days.  Hubs is off with the “guys” for his fantasy baseball draft for the day, it’s gloomy outside and my Alma mater is playing in the college ice hockey tournament this afternoon.  Considering East Coast college hockey is generally not televised nationally, I’m pretty excited to watch.

So, I called up two of my college roommates and gathered up everything I needed to make one of our old standby favorites – white chili.  Alright, this may not be the most masculine of chilis out there, but it’s always a fan favorite and the kids love it.

A little note about white chili.  I’m not sure about the rest of the country, but this dish was all the rage in Louisville in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  It showed up on menus everywhere, and the hands down best was at the now long-defunct Timothy’s on Broadway.  My mom got this recipe from the chef there, and it’s been a go-to crowd pleaser  ever since.  When herds of college friends descended upon my parents’ house for Derby every year, there was always a double batch of white chili waiting to be consumed at all hours of the night.

So, here it goes.

Timothy’s White Chili


  • 3 cans of white beans (drained)
  • 2 pounds diced or shredded, cooked chicken
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 8 ounces green chilies (buy the pre-diced kind to save time)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups chicken broth *see my notes about chicken broth below
  • 3 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese


  1. Heat oil in a soup kettle or large dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat (you could also make this dish in a slow cooker for a great weekday dinner!)
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and saute until they are translucent.  You don’t want to brown or caramelize them, adding a pinch of salt will help here.
  3. Add in all of the other ingredients EXCEPT the beans and the cheese, and let it cook (covered) for an hour.  At this point, you can turn the heat off and wait until you are ready to eat.
  4. About 15 or so minutes before you are ready to serve, heat up the chili and add in the beans and 2 cups of the cheese and stir with a wooden spoon until the cheese melts and the beans are heated through.
  5. Serve topped with the remaining cheese, a dollop of sour cream and chopped cilantro (optional).

*My feelings about chicken broth/stock:

Canned or ‘boxed’ chicken broth/stock is a great invention and should be a cupboard staple.  I always have it around for day-to-day cooking and it is completely acceptable to use it for soups and stews like this one.  However, I really try to roast a chicken every weekend to ensure that I have what I need for quick meals throughout the week.  I freeze the carcass and any uneaten chicken to make stock on a day when we are stuck in the house.  The stock can be stored in the freezer until you need it.

This entry was published on March 25, 2012 at 8:00 am. It’s filed under Recipes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Timothy’s white chili


    Grew up in Goshen and haven’t been able to find a Timothy’s recipe until today! I am SO SO excited right now!

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