Italian White Chilli Chicken with a Parmesan, Pear & Walnut Salad


A little bit left field, this probably takes ‘fusion food’ to a different level, but it’s absolutely delicious.  A variation on the traditional ‘Chilli con Carne’ using chicken, white beans and a creamy sauce with flavours I associate with good Italian food. The acidic tones of the pickled jalapeño combined anise effect of the fennel offsets the richness of this dish really well.  Great for a change, works well with an interesting salad and a nice glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc

Serves 3


  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 tsp Dried Mixed Herbs
  • 1 Green Cayenne Chilli, sliced
  • 2 Chicken Breasts, diced
  • 125g Mushrooms, cleaned & sliced
  • 1 Green Pepper, diced
  • 1 tin Cannellini Beans
  • 2 tbsp pickled Jalapeño Peppers
  • 150ml Double Cream
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

for the salad:

  • A handful of crisp lettuce leaves (e.g. Romaine or Cos type), shredded
  • A handful of Rocket leaves, shredded
  • A little parmesan, diced small (about 2 tbsp)
  • A few walnuts, chopped (about 2 tbsp)
  • 1/2 a ripe Pear, peeled & diced
  • A little Balsamic Vinegar to dress

to serve:


  • Sweat the onions and garlic in the oil – be careful not to colour
  • Stir in the fennel, chilli and herbs before adding the chicken. Stir well and cook on a high temperature for a couple of minutes before turning the heat down
  • Stir in the mushrooms, season lightly and cover. Leave to sweat for a few minutes until the mushrooms start to soften
  • Add the green pepper, jalapeño, beans and cream. Stir lightly and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook gently for 5-10 minutes and test for seasoning. Add salt & pepper to taste
  • Whilst the chilli is simmering, prepare the salad by tossing all of the ingredients together and setting aside
  • Make ‘tortilla bowls’ to serve the chilli in by first warming the corn tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds, then shaping each tortilla into a small pyrex bowl. Place the bowl into a warm oven (160-180oC) for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned. Watch carefully to ensure that they don’t burn.
  • Turn the tortillas out of the pyrex and onto a serving plate. Fill with the chilli and serve salad on the side

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