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World Central Kitchen’s Chicken Chili Verde: A Touchstone of Comfort and Hope

Chef José Andrés is not just a culinary genius; he’s also an emblem of hope and compassion. Through World Central Kitchen, he has extended his hand to those who needed it most, from disaster-stricken regions to war-torn areas. His culinary creations served during these challenging times are more than just sustenance; they’re a gesture of humanity and solidarity.

His Chicken Chili Verde, featured in The World Central Kitchen Cookbook: Feeding Humanity, Feeding Hope, is one such testament. Described by Andrés as having “a nice balance of acid and heat”, it’s not just a meal—it’s a memory of hope and perseverance.


  • Scallions: 5, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • Tomatillos: 1 can (28-oz.), whole or crushed, drained if whole
  • Fire-roasted green chiles: 1 can (27-oz.), whole, drained
  • Jalapeño: 1 (optional)
  • Garlic cloves: 4, medium-sized, peeled
  • Fresh cilantro: ¼ cup, roughly chopped (and more for garnish)
  • Olive or canola oil: 1 Tbsp.
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast: 2 lbs., cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Yellow onion: 1, medium-sized, diced
  • Kosher salt: 1½ tsp.
  • Freshly ground black pepper: 1 tsp.
  • Low-sodium chicken stock: 2 cups
  • Chickpeas: 1 can (15.5-oz.), drained and rinsed
  • Ground cumin: 1½ tsp.
  • Dried oregano: 1½ tsp.
  • Ground coriander: 1 tsp.
  • Lime juice: From 1 lime
  • Cotija or shredded Monterey Jack cheese: ¼ cup, crumbled, for garnish
  • Cooked white rice or tortillas for serving


  1. Prepare the Scallions: Set aside 1/2 cup of the scallion greens for garnish. The remaining scallions go into a blender.
  2. Blend the Base: To the blender, add the tomatillos, fire-roasted chiles, jalapeño (if using), garlic, and cilantro. Puree until you get a smooth texture.
  3. Cook Chicken and Onions: In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Toss in the chicken and onion, seasoning them with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally for around 10 minutes. The onions should turn translucent, and the chicken pieces should brown lightly without sticking to the pot.
  4. Add Main Ingredients: Pour in the chicken stock to deglaze the pot’s bottom. Introduce the tomatillo puree, chickpeas, cumin, oregano, and coriander. Stir them all together, bringing the mixture to a boil.
  5. Simmer: Once boiling, reduce the heat to let it simmer. Cover the pot and allow the chili to meld flavors and thicken for about 2 hours.
  6. Final Touches: Taste the chili. Add salt and pepper if required. Right before serving, mix in the fresh lime juice.
  7. Serve: Pour the chili into bowls. Garnish with the set-aside scallion greens, extra cilantro, and your choice of cheese. Pair with rice or tortillas on the side.

preparation metrics:

  • Serving Size: Makes 8 portions
  • Active Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Cooking Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

The essence of this dish isn’t just in its delightful flavors but in the spirit of giving and community it represents. The heartwarming Chicken Chili Verde is more than just a recipe—it’s a narrative of love, resilience, and the power of food to bring people together.

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