Is there such a thing as summer chili? If you read my last post I may be a wee bit obvious in my disdain for summer right now, so it should come as no surprise that I have been busy in the kitchen making soup. I am combatting the 105 degree heat index by cranking down the air conditioning and filling my 13-quart LeCrueset full of soup and chili. Delusional? Maybe, but I have a stomach full of chili right now, and that delusion tasted damn good.
Here's where my ADD kicks in. Don't forget to enter my giveaway! Leave a comment by this Monday on the linked post telling me what summer dish is on your list to make before fall arrives and you could win a $40 gift card to CSN online stores.
Okay so about that chili. I have made this chili at least ten times over the last few years. It is based on Michael Chiarello recipe but I change it a little bit every time I make it. It is chock full of zucchini and summer squash, corn, all kinds of peppers and three kinds of beans. It is best made with chicken thighs (trust me on this) but made easier and quite healthy if you use ground turkey. I keep meaning to try a new chili recipe but I just can't stop making this one. It may be an addiction.
3 Bean Chili with Zucchini and Turkey
adapted from Michael Chiarello
3 lbs. chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or ground turkey or chicken)
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
3 teaspoons paprika
1 cup AP flour (not needed if you are using ground meat)
1/2 cup olive oil (again, if you are using ground meat you will not need as much)
2 large red onions, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 green jalepenos, diced (remove seeds if you want it a little less spicy)
2 red jalepenos, diced (remove seeds if you want it a little less spicy)
1/4 cup tomato paste
6 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons minced thyme leaves
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatos
2 cups white wine
4 cups chicken stock
2 small-medium zucchini, quartered and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
2 small-medium summer squash, quartered and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 can canellini beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can chickpeas
2 small cans corn
1 piquillo pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced
grated parmesan cheese to garnish (goat cheese crumbles are also delicious, but I put goat cheese on everything so don't hold me to that)
If you are using chicken thighs, place in a large bowl and season generously with salt and pepper, along with the paprika. Toss with the flour to coat. Skip this step if you are using ground turkey, you can add the salt, pepper, and paprika to the pot while the turkey is browning.
Heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large heavy bottom pot, such as a dutch oven, over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add meat (in batches if needed) and cook until brown on all sides. Remove meat and set aside, leaving juices in pot. Add a few more tablespoons olive oil to the pot and when it is hot, add the onions and garlic and cook until softened and starting to caramelize, about 5-7 minutes. Add the jalepenos and saute another 2-3 minutes, until softened.
Add the tomato paste, chili powder, and thyme and stir to combine. Add the wine, bring to a simmer, then add the chicken stock, tomatoes, and cooked meat. Stir to combine, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, until chicken is falling-apart-tender.
Add the beans, zucchini, summer squash, corn, piquillo pepper, bell peppers, and green onions. Bring back to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until veggies are tender. Stir in basil and serve immediately topped with cheese. This also freezes wonderfully.