1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the chicken pieces and cook, stirring, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-high and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the beans, corn, chiles, spices, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
2. Add more water, ½ cup at a time, if the chili is too thick. When the chili is done, taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Ladle the chili into bowls and top each serving with a spoonful of cheese and a sprinkling of cilantro.