Until about 2 minutes ago, I was convinced tomatoes had to be involved in order for something to classify as chili – I know, every Texan reading this is mouth agape that I thought tomatoes should go in there at all. But, hey, I'm Italian-American so we put tomatoes in any and everything. Bottom line is, this California girl doesn't know the Texas chili bylaws, but I do know that poblanos, cumin, and chicken equal slow-cooking magic, which is why this is my go-to chicken chili, with not one tomato even close to being involved.
trimmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
or 2 (15 oz) cans cooked beans
Trim excess fat from chicken then cut into 2-inch pieces. Spread chicken in a single layer and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add one-half of the chicken pieces (in a single layer) and cook until browned on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. (Do this carefully as the oil may sputter.) Remove to a plate and repeat 1 tablespoon of the oil and the remaining chicken.
When chicken is browned, reduce heat to medium-low, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, the onions, season with a pinch of salt, and stir to coat. Cook until onions are translucent then stir in chiles, garlic, cumin, and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
If using a slow cooker, combine browned chicken with remaining ingredients and cook on low about 4 hours.
Stir in the broth and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are knife tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Stir in reserved chicken and any accumulated juices, beans, and corn, and cook at a low simmer until chicken is cooked through and liquid is slightly thickened, about 20 to 30 minutes more. Taste and add lime juice, as desired, to brighten flavor. Serve, topped with chips, cilantro, and sour cream, as desired.
Photography and food styling by Aida Mollenkamp