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Monday, September 13, 2010

White Chicken Chili

It seems as though fall quickly took over, leaving summer just a memory. It has been so long since I lived in the Northeast that I forgot how quickly those last days of summer disappear. Being caught off guard by a warm day waning into a cool evening. Going to sleep with the windows open and waking up with a cool, crisp air in the house. The sun dipping low earlier and earlier in the day.

I never want to let go of these last few days of summer, but I love these early days of fall. It is this time of year that I want to be able to enjoy the day, outside, in the sun. Yet I also want to bundle up at night, huddled under the covers. I want to eat ripe peaches with warm apple cider. Can I still wear sandals with my long-sleeved shirts?

On a recent cool night I decided it was just fallish enough for chili. I love to make chili. It is the perfect combination of light and filling, ideal for this in between time. I like to make my chili with turkey and cannellini beans, rather than beef and kidney beans. A white chili has a milder flavor that I like to kick up with lots of spices.

This recipe can be doubled or halved, it is incredibly versatile. I’ve made it with chicken, with more beans, with seasoned tomatoes, even with hot peppers. It freezes well, so you can make a big batch and save half for later. So bubble up a pot of chili, pop some corn bread in the oven and get the sour cream ready. Fall is coming, but hopefully this will help make the transition a little smoother.

White Chili
Adapted from South Beach Cooking

2 tbsp olive oil
1 whole white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1.25 lb turkey cutlets, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp red chili flake
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 - 15 oz cans cannellini beans
2 – 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
2 tsp green pepper Tabasco sauce

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Move onion and garlic to the sides and add turkey and spices to the center of the pot. Stir to coat all with spices. Cook for about 5 minutes, until turkey is cooked through.

Add stock, beans and tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes to bring all the flavors together. In the last minute add the Tabasco sauce and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and maybe some cheddar cheese!
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