White Bean Chili with Sausage and Chicken

It has been bitterly cold here in southeastern PA.  We haven’t seen above-freezing temperatures in a week and the 14 inches of snow that fell last Tuesday still look fresh and powdery… no melting whatsoever!  I’m not complaining, though.  I’ll take extreme winter weather with lots of snow and cold over a mediocre, unexciting winter any year!

The cold weather means that Matt and I have been making soups, stews, and chilis almost every week.  Right now we have a beef chili simmering on the stove that’s made with “real” dried beans that we had to soak overnight… first time I’ve ever done that!  Tonight’s chili still has another hour or so to cook before it will be ready so I thought I’d use that time to post about another stew that we made a few weeks ago… white bean chili with hot sausage, chicken, bacon, and five types of peppers… yum!!

White Bean Chili with Sausage, Bacon and Chicken

This white bean chili comes together really quickly… just under an hour from start to finish.  That’s much faster than tonight’s beef chili which has been simmering for nearly 7 hours! (Can you tell that I am impatiently waiting for it to be done?  I’m starving!!)  Getting back to the white bean chili, I found that the “white” cannellini beans and navy beans were a nice change from the basic kidney beans and black beans that my chilis usually include and I definitely liked the combination of bell peppers, jalapeño, green chiles, and chipotles en adobo.  Oh, and of course I thoroughly enjoyed the bacon and hot sausage… how could you not like that winning combination?  🙂

White Bean Chili with Sausage and Chicken (adapted from this recipe at Food52)

Chili Ingredients:
Olive Oil
5 slices Bacon, chopped
1 lb. Chicken Breast, cut into 1″ cubes
1 lb. Hot Italian Sausage, ground (or removed from casing)
2 Yellow Onions, diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 Jalapeño Pepper, minced
2 – 4 oz. cans Diced Green Chiles
2 Chipotles en Adobo, minced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
3 tablespoons Cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons Chili Powder
3 tablespoons Mexican Oregano
3 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
6 cups Chicken Stock
1 – 15 oz. can Cannellinni Beans, partially drained
1 – 15 oz. can Navy Beans, partially drained

Garnishes:
Your choice of Sour Cream, Grated Cheddar Cheese, Fresh Cilantro, Lime Wedges, Avocado, and/or Tortilla Strips

White Bean Chili In Process

Directions:
Heat a large (7-8 qt) stock pot over medium-high heat.  Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and brown the chopped bacon until it is just starting to get crispy.  Add in the chicken and sausage.  Brown the meat, stirring frequently, for approx. 12 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sausage is well crumbled.

Stir in the next seven ingredients (onion thru garlic) and saute until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the spices (black pepper thru Mexican oregano), stir well, and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.  Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, stir, and cook for 3 more minutes.  Next, add the chicken stock 1 cup at a time, stirring and scraping the browned bits off of bottom of the pot between each cup.  Bring the chili to a boil then add the beans and stir well to combine.  Reduce the heat and simmer the chili for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve the white bean chili in large bowls and top with your choice of garnish.  We enjoyed our chili with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and cilantro and it was delicious!

White Bean Chili 4

Here are some of the other Chilis and Stews that we’ve been making lately.  Enjoy and stay warm!
•  Pozole Verde
•  Pork and Green Chile Stew
•  Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili

Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili

It’s snowing out!  We were supposed to get a mere inch of snow today but it appears that the weather guys were WAY off… there’s already over 4 inches of snow out there!!  Here’s the view outside and the radar map… the snow doesn’t show signs of stopping anytime soon!

December 8th Snow

Cold and snowy weather is the perfect time to enjoy a batch of warm, hearty stew.  I have this pork and green chile stew from Skinny Taste cooking in my crock pot right now and I want to share another yummy concoction that I made a few weeks ago: Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili.  The original, vegetarian version of this recipe came from Pami over at Omnomalicious.  I would have been happy with a meatless stew but Matt likes his meat so I took some liberties with the recipe and added in some ground turkey just for him. 🙂

281 Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili

This chili was seriously awesome.  The butternut squash was soft and just the tiniest bit sweet, and it blended really nicely with the black beans, peppers, and onions in a tex-mex-style broth that had just the right amount of kick.  YUM!  I will definitely be making this again soon!!

Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili (adapted from Omnomalicious)

You will need…
1 Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
1 Onion, diced
2 Red Bell Peppers, diced
1 Jalapeño Pepper, diced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Chipotles in Adobo Sauce, minced
1 can Diced Tomatoes
2 cans Black Beans, drained
1 cup Chicken Broth
1 tablespoon Cumin
1 tablespoon Chile Powder
1 tablespoon Mexican Oregano
1 lb. ground Turkey, browned
Salt and Pepper, to taste

272 Butternut Turkey Chili before and after

Directions:
Oh yeah, did I mention that this stew is amazingly easy to make?  Simply combine all of the ingredients in a crock pot then cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or until the squash has reached your desired consistency.  Season to taste and serve with a slice of freshly baked cornbread!

284 Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili

Smoky Beef Chili

Slow-cooked stew… the perfect winter weeknight meal! Last week after a long day at work and a cold drive home we opened our back door and were greeted by the wonderful smell of simmering Smoky Beef Chili in the crock pot. This chili was easy to make — we actually threw the ingredients together at lunchtime and let them simmer all afternoon — and the resulting dinner was delicious!

Smoky Beef Chili

This Smoky Beef Chili recipe comes from Williams Sonoma’s The New Slow Cooker, a cookbook that my mom got me for Christmas. The chili features tender chunks of beef (so tender that you can cut them with a spoon!), smoky chipotle-induced heat and a fresh corn salsa that contrasts nicely with the intense flavors of the stew. Depending on how much beef stock you opt to add, the chili is either a nice soup consistency (with more stock) or a thick stew that tastes great over rice.

Smoky Beef Chili (from The New Slow Cooker)

Ingredients for the Stew:
4 lbs. Boneless Beef Chuck, trimmed of fat and cut into 3/4″ cubes
Salt and Pepper
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 Large Yellow Onions, coarsely chopped
2 Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Chipotle Chile Powder
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Dried Mexican Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 cup Tomato Paste
2-3 cups Beef Stock, divided

Ingredients for the Corn Salsa Garnish:
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 tablespoon low-sodium Soy Sauce
Juice of 1 Lime
2 teaspoons Sherry (or Sherry Vinegar)
1 teaspoon minced fresh Ginger
1/8 teaspoon Sugar
2-3 drops Hot Sauce (we used Cholula)
2 cups Corn Kernels (if frozen, rinse under water to thaw)
2 cups Cherry Tomatoes, halved
4 Green Onions, thinly sliced

Directions:
Season the beef with salt and pepper. Add half of the oil to a large skillet over medium-heat heat. Add half of the beef and brown evenly (approx. 5 minutes), then set the browned beef aside on a plate and repeat with the remaining meat.

If the skillet is dry, add more of the olive oil or, if the skillet has a lot of fat in it, drain most of the fat away. Bring back to medium heat and saute the onions for about 6 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then stir in the next 6 ingredients (chipotles thru tomato paste) and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the beef stock and stir well to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer the mixture to a slow cooker.

Add 1 teaspoon salt along with some ground pepper, and 1-2 cups of stock (depending on how soupy you want the chili to be) to the slow cooker and stir in the browned beef and any accumulated juices. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 5 hours.

Before serving the stew make the corn salsa. Start by whisking together the Lime Vinaigrette ingredients (olive oil thru hot sauce) in a small bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir in the vinaigrette. Serve the salsa on top of a steaming bowl of Smoky Beef Chili and enjoy!

Smoky Beef Chili

The Perfect Storm Food – Five Bean Chili!

It’s October in Pennsylvania which means that leaves are changing color, geese are flying south, pumpkins are being carved into jack o’lanterns, and we’re filling up the bathtub with water in preparation for a hurricane.  Wait, what??  That’s right, we’re about to receive a direct hit from a real live hurricane in October!

The storm, billed as Hurricane Sandy, “FrankenStorm,” and, most dramatically, “The Perfect Storm,” is forecasted to take a sharp left turn in the Atlantic Ocean and sweep up the Delaware Bay tomorrow.  If the Weather Channel is correct, we’ll experience 6-10 inches of rain, hurricane-force winds, and extended power outages.  That brings me back to the bathtub.  Since our water is pumped into the house from our well, we lose our running water when the power goes out.  That tub full of water will allow us to flush the toilet and have clean water available for washing hands and faces.  For drinking water, I filled up several pitchers and glass bottles with water from the kitchen sink.  (I didn’t want to join the mobs at the grocery store for “real” bottled water!)

That little yellow star is where we are. Eek!

I’m mildly worried about the 70mph winds and rushing floodwaters, but I think that right now my biggest concern is actually that the food in our freezer might go bad.  We have about $50 worth of wonderful fresh Maiale sausage along with yummy frozen pastas, vegetables, and fish and I am having nightmares about it all thawing out and going bad during a long power outage.  In order to give the freezer a fighting chance I reorganized all of the food so it is tightly packed together in the bottom drawer.  I also put ice packs in the freezer along with a big ziploc bag full of water and a reused gallon jug filled with water.  These are all frozen solid now and should help to keep our food cold.  (Watch, after all of the preparation the power isn’t even going to go out… but better to be safe than sorry!)

Anyway, all of this stormy and cold weather has me thinking about warm stews and soups!  A nice five bean chili would really hit the spot right now, but we are going to try to use up some food in our fridge tonight so I think I’m going to have to wait until after the storm to get my chili fix.  But, without further ado, here’s my chili recipe along with some photos from our last batch a few weeks ago…

Five Bean Chili (serves 5-7 and makes great leftovers!)
Note: I revised this recipe on 10/29/14.  The original recipe had chick peas (visible in the photos) which were yummy but in my most recent batch of chili I removed the chick peas and added a third can of kidney beans and second can of tomatoes with delicious results.  I also added fresh minced garlic, upped the ground beef from 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, and adjusted a few of the spice measurements.  Oh, and I added another half bottle of beer to give the chili a little more liquid consistency… feel free to drink the remaining beer as you cook!

You will need…
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 pounds Lean Ground Beef
1 White Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
5 tablespoons Chili Powder
1 1/2 tablespoons Paprika
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 teaspoons Cumin
1-15oz. can Pinto Beans, rinsed & drained
1-15oz. can Black Beans, rinsed & drained
3-15oz. can Kidney Beans, rinsed & drained
1-15oz. can Corn, drained; or 1 cup frozen corn, rinsed
2-10oz. can Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies (not drained)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
18 oz. (1 1/2 bottles) Dark Beer

Directions…
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Cook the ground beef.  When it is almost browned, add the onion and stir.  Once the onion has started to soften add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.  Stir in the powdered ingredients and then, when the meat is completely browned, add the beans, corn, and tomatoes and stir.  Simmer the mixture for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  After 20 minutes, taste the chili and add salt and pepper as needed.  (You can also add more chili powder and paprika at this point if you want more of a kick.)  Add the beer, stir again, cover, and allow the chili to cook over low heat for 60-90 minutes.  Serve with a generous slice of fresh cornbread.