Saturday, July 23, 2011

Turkey, White Bean and Corn Chili

  • 2 strips of bacon (diced)
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs of ground turkey (dark meat)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (diced)
  • garlic powder
  • black pepper
  • marjoram
  • celery salt
  • cumin
  • red chili flakes
  • hot paprika
  • 1 quart of chicken stock
  • 2 cans of canellini beans (drained)
  • 1 bag of frozen corn
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • salt
  • lime wedges

In a large pre-heated pot (this makes a lot of food - enough to freeze even), add the bacon and begin rendering the fat. Drizzle a couple swirls of vegetable oil and add the ground turkey. After a couple of minutes, add the diced bell peppers and all of the seasonings except for the salt, which we'll add after everything else has joined the party. Next, add 1 quart of chicken stock, the drained cannellini beans, frozen corn, and 2 bay leaves. Bring pot to a simmer. I decided that I didn't really like the consistency and wanted it to be thicker which is the reason for the following step.

Now introducing (drumroll please) - beurre manie! It's simply a mixture of roughly equal parts butter and flour that you can add to thicken soups and sauces and such. It's very similar to a roux, except you would find preparing a roux as the first step in a recipe, whereas you can add beurre manie at any point. The key is that you MUST bring the liquid to a simmer/low boil after you add it in order to activate the starch and allow it to work its thickening magic.

Now you can begin to taste and adjust any of the seasonings. It's also at this point when you can add any salt, if needed, because there may or may not already be enough depending on the chicken stock you used. Leave the pot on low heat for approximately two hours. (No, it may not really need to cook for that long, but you definitely won't be disappointed because of it.) Be sure to stir it (and maybe sneak a spoonful) every now and then - the bottom may burn if left alone for too long (I think you can see a few dark specs in the pictures above...). When ready, serve with lime wedges to add a little extra oomph to the chili. This recipe makes a good amount of food so I froze some when I made this back in February (I can't believe it was that long ago). I just pulled it out of my freezer earlier this week and it was still as delicious as I remembered.

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