CNYEats A Taste of Utica Cannellini Chili

by Joanne on January 3, 2010

This weeks recipe from A Taste of Utica DSC_0355 is on page 31 and posted by Jerry.  “I came up with this recipe because of my love of Utica’s Chicken Riggies”.

Cannellini Chili:  Italian chili in the style of a Chicken Riggies sauce.


I made this recipe for my parents and Ted while in South Carolina.  I made one meatless version for myself using Quorn  DSC_2949  so I could get the texture of chicken in the chili and I used a salt substitute for my father (he doesn’t use salt) DSC_2948 .  The other change I made was to add mushrooms. My mother had some sliced mushrooms she wanted used up and this  chili was a perfect way to use them.

In my version of the chili, I used 3 fresh red cherry peppers.  In my parents and Ted’s version (using chicken) I used only 1 fresh red cherry pepper.  In both versions the seeds were removed.  There was no heat what so ever detected in either version.  Our peppers must have been duped of their heat.


INGREDIENTS – Even though there is a lot of ingredients, don’t be afraid of this recipe.  It goes together in the pot quickly and then the flavors are allowed to develop over the course of 2 hours.

    1 lb Boneless Chicken Breasts – cut into 1/2 “ pieces
    1/2 cup flour (season flour with pepper, salt, Italian seasoning)
    1-2 TBS olive oil

    1/2 stick butter (or use a “heart healthy” substitute )   
    1 large onion – cut into wedges    
    3 celery stalks with leaves (cut the dirty ends off) – chop
    1 to 3 cherry peppers – sliced

    2 – 3 cloves garlic (I left these whole)

    8 – 10 black olives (sliced) – optional.  * I used a small can of pre-sliced olives.
    2 Cans Cannellini Beans
    2 tsp dried parsley (or 4 sprigs fresh Italian parsley)   

   1 can chicken broth *  The size can is not indicated. I used 1 (14 oz) can and (1) 16 oz asceptic packaged broth.
    4 oz Heavy Cream – or use half and half
    1/2 cup White Wine
    1 large can tomato sauce (15 oz)
    1 large can whole tomatoes (24 oz can or 28 oz)

    1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese   


Get everything you need on the countertop, chopped and opened and ready to simply grab and add.

Set a large pot on the stove over medium high heat. Add olive oil and let warm while you put the chicken into a  plastic bag with your seasoned flour.  Shake it around to coat the chicken well.

When the oil is  hot, add the chicken pieces and just cook until brown on all sides.  Remove to a plate.

Add the butter to the hot pot that you just cooked the chicken in and let melt and heat.  Now add the onion, celery, peppers and cook over medium high heat about 8 minutes.  It the vegetables begin to get too brown, turn the heat to medium.  Add the garlic and olives and cook one minutes. *I added the sliced mushrooms at this point as well.

Add the chicken back to the pot and the rest of your ingredients:   beans, parsley, broth, cream, wine, sauce, whole tomatoes *squeeze the whole tomatoes before adding to the pot, cheese.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and let cook 2 hours. You MUST stir this on occasion otherwise you will find the bottom of your pan coated with Parmesan cheese.  You want the mixture to thicken like chili so if you are going to leave it simmering, leave the pot uncovered.


*What we did since we were vacationing in SC is to make the chili, bring to a boil then turn off the heat, cover the pot and let it sit while we went to see a movie.  When we got home, we simply turned the pot back on and let it heat up again for 1 hour. 

Thanks to Jerry, I think my family just found a new favorite recipe.  FANTASTIC TASTE!


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  • At 2010.01.03 10:34, Peggy said:

    either version sounds pretty tasty!

    • At 2010.01.03 19:42, Joanne said:

      Thanks Peggy. This recipe really suprised me in regards to how tasty it was.

      • At 2010.01.04 10:40, Nancy Jean said:

        Recipe sounds delicious, Joanne. Could you say about how many ounces of mushrooms you used? I assume fresh better than canned, too? Can’t wait to make this on the weekend – – THANKS FOR SHARING!

        • At 2010.01.05 10:21, Hannah said:

          Sounds like fantastic comfort food… I’m really tempted to whip up a similar sort of vegan version now, too! Thanks for the inspiration.

          • At 2010.01.06 16:34, Michele said:

            This looks delicious! What gives the dish the bright yellow color?

            • At 2010.01.06 17:01, Joanne said:

              Nancy: Use about 6 to 8 oz FRESH mushrooms.
              Hannah: Thanks – it tasted super.
              Michele: Not sure about the yellow – think it might be the lighting because due to the tomato addition with the cream, it should be more pinky color.

              • At 2010.01.10 01:11, Chaya said:

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