It’s National Chili Day, and quite frankly it couldn’t have come at a better time as winter drags on and we’re sore from shoveling snow our appetites are in need of a serious boost. Chili has earned itself a spot as one of the almost best winter comfort meals, it’s easy to prepare and it always seems to taste that much better when it’s bitterly cold outside.
Chili comes in many forms these days, sometimes it’s nice to improvise and use what you’ve got in the fridge or the pantry and mix up a big batch of custom one-of-a-kind chili. The case for swapping leaner chicken or turkey for beef is growing in many top-notch chili recipes, and we aren’t complaining; there’s little flavor lost and it’s as good as the original, sometimes better. The biggest debate over chili seems to be, Beans or No Beans? either way we’re happy with a big bowl of chili (and lots of shredded cheese).
How are you celebrating National Chili Day? We’d love to hear your favorite recipes.
Here are two of our favorite chili recipes:
Chicken Chili with Poblano and Corn
Start to finish: 25 minutes
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
2 poblano chiles, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt plus more if needed
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb ground chicken
2 cups chicken broth plus more if necessary
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 ears corn, kernels cut from cob or about 1 cup/120 ml frozen
1/2 cup sour cream, plus more if desired
1/2 cup Cotija or Farmer’s cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and poblano chili and sauté them for about 2 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, ground spices and chicken, breaking it up as it cooks for about 2 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink. Add the chicken broth and cannellini beans and mash the beans with the back of a fork to thicken it. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the chili for about 5 minutes. If the pan gets dry add more broth or water. Add the corn and stir in the sour cream. Taste and add more salt, pepper or chili powder if it needs it.
Ladle the chili into shallow heated bowls and top it with the Cotija cheese and minced cilantro.
Extra Hungry? One word…salty corn chips. Whether you crumble them in the bowl or use them as a spoon to scoop the chili-like salsa, it’s so good.
In the glass: If you’re feeling red, try a bottle of light and dry Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais-Villages or, for the white lovers, a Chablis from the same producer would do just as well. Then, there’s always your favorite beer if you long for a tall cool one.
Recipe created by Carla Snyder
White Turkey Chili
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, finely diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
1 poblano pepper, finely diced
3 pounds lean ground turkey meat
5 eighteen ounce cans white kidney beans
96 ounces chicken stock
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup cold water
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup ground cumin
1/3 cup chili powder
1/2 cup dry oregano
Lea & Perrins, to taste
Tabasco to taste
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
In a large rondeau pot on high heat add in oil, onions, garlic and peppers and caramelize (will take 20 – 25 minutes).
Once the veggies are golden brown push them to a corner of the pan and add in the turkey to the side of the pan with no vegetables.
Brown the turkey until it is completely done and then mix it in with the vegetables. Once everything is combined, mix in the chili powder, cumin and oregano and cook for 2-4 minutes.
Next, add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. While the chili is cooking, mix together cornstarch and water in a small bowl and whisk it into the chili once it is boiling.
Once the chili is thick finish it with cream and adjust the seasonings with Tabasco, Lea & Perrins, salt and pepper.
On low heat cook the chili for a further 1 to 2 hours to maximize flavor.
Recipe created by Chef Billy Parisi