Mexican Chicken and Bean Stew

There are only two things that make me reluctantly accept the all-too-soon arrival of fall in Seattle (and given we had no summer this year, I’m very reluctant right now!): football (geaux Saints!) and soup, especially hearty soups. I like hearty, stick-to-your-bones soups, but without the high-fat ingredients of course!

This soup is an adaptation of a posole recipe found in Sunset magazine (Jan, 2010). I served it to my book club where it got a big thumbs up! It’s fairly quick to prepare – about 45 minutes, unless you are like me and take longer, getting lost in the relaxation of chopping, cutting, stirring and tasting! So enjoy… And, read on to the end for some leftovers suggestions.


  • 3 large poblano chiles
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 large onion
  • 1-1/2 cans (14-1/2 oz ea.) chickpeas or garbanzo beans
  • 1-1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tsp dried Mexican oregano*, divided
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups low-sodium (Organic) chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp ground New Mexico red chiles*
  • 1-1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Garnishes: sliced avocado, lime wedge, chopped cilantro, light sour cream (Sour cream helps to cut some of the “heat” from the chiles – if you are sensitive to spice, cut the amount of red chiles in half.)


  1. Preheat broiler. Broil poblanos on baking sheet until blackened, turning as needed – about 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor (or by hand), mince garlic. Cut onions in chunks and pulse with garlic until chopped; set aside. Drain garbanzos; set aside.
  3. Cut chicken into 1-in chunks and sprinkle with 2 tsp oregano. Heat oil in 5- to 6- qt pan over high heat. Brown half the chicken lightly on both sides. With slotted spoon, transfer chicken to plateand brown remaining meat.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add onion and remaining 2 tsp oregano to pan and sauté until onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add ground chiles to pan and stir together.
  5. Add broth, beans and chicken to pan. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer to blend flavors, 10 minutes.
  6. Remove stems, skins and seeds from poblanos and discard. Chop poblanos.
  7. Stir poblanos into stew and cook for at least another 3 minutes.
  8. Ladle into bowls, top with garnishes.

*Find Mexican oregano and ground red New Mexico chiles at grocery stores with well-stocked international food sections. Locally, these can be found at any Town & Country Market, HT Market, and even QFC.

Leftover suggestion: I had about half a cup of the stew left over, but the meat had all been eaten. I sautéed some  shrimp – until it was just pink – with some garlic, then added it to the stew (you can add a tiny bit more chicken stock if you need more liquid). Bring to a boil, then simmer for another 3-5 minutes. Dee-lish!

Vegetarian option: Sub veggie broth; stir in fresh or frozen corn, black beans or even yellow squash, cut in 1/2-in thick rounds.

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2 Responses to “Mexican Chicken and Bean Stew”

  1. Molly says:

    YUM. Great process photos! You make it look so easy.

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