Thursday, September 29, 2011

Turkey Corn Chili

My friends, summer has gone. It flew the coop days ago, leaving us with nothing but melting popsicle memories, late harvest tomatoes and fading tan lines. Cruelty.

The good news is that it's now officially fall, so, as everyone knows, it's officially time to start making chili. It's all very official.

Chili comes in all forms -- beef, three-bean, meatless or five-alarm, to name a few. Mine comes with turkey and corn, and just a little bit of heat; it's a right fine way to ward off fall's chill and ring in this glorious new season -- of football tailgating.

Fall weekends are ripe with football games and, ardent fan or indifferent observer, football games are the perfect excuse to gather friends for eating, drinking, general noise-making, and also eating. I think you'll agree that a big batch of chili is the consummate football-watching food. Warm, filling, crowd-pleasing -- it's a thrown-together, one-pot, rough-and-tumble meal, and it makes excellent use of all kinds of toppings. And hey, who doesn't love toppings?

...Probably Giants fans.

Turkey Corn Chili
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 lbs ground turkey
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • ½ Tbsp. ground coriander
  • ½ Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 small red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced into half moons
  • 1 or 2 jalapeƱo peppers, seeded and finely chopped (if you like spicy, go for 2 jalapeƱos, or use 1 and don’t take out the seeds. Or really knock yourself out with a habanero chili. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
  • 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained
  • 1.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 10 oz. fresh or frozen sweet corn kernels
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, for topping
  • Grated Colby Jack cheese, for topping
  • Sliced scallions, for topping
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and let them sweat, until they turn soft and translucent. Add garlic and saute for a minute or two.
Add the ground meat and break up into small chunks with a wooden spoon. Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika and salt, and let the spices meld over the heat while the meat browns, about 5 minutes.
Add the chopped veggies, diced tomatoes with juice, kidney beans, chicken broth and tomato paste, mixing to combine. Let the liquid heat up for 5 minutes or so, then add the corn. Cover the pot and let the chili simmer 10 – 15 minutes, until fragrant and steaming.
Serve with a healthy scoop of sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt), a sprinkling of shredded cheese, and a handful of sliced scallions.
Serves 6-8.

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