Sunday, November 01, 2009

White Chili

I'm not a big fan of traditional chili. It can be pretty heavy, heartburn-inducing, and sometimes greasy. Years ago, when my mother lived in Park City, Utah, I was introduced to a delicious white chili made with turkey by the Deer Valley Ski Resort. Although I haven't made it in years, I thought it might be a good dish for Halloween, because it would hold well and could be personalized by each of our guests with toppings of their choice. Previously, I made this with the mix sold by the resort; this time, I thought I'd try making it from scratch. Instead of turkey meat, I used ground turkey, which is readily available and affordable. I also packed as many vegetables in as I could, for a lighter, more healthful chili. With a side of fresh-baked corn muffins, this is an easy, crowd-pleasing meal.

Deer Valley Turkey Chili

2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 medium Anaheim chilies, seeded, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 leeks (white part only), chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 teaspoons salt
1/8 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 29-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup corn flour

Brown the turkey in 2 tablespoons of the butter. Drain and reserve. Melt the remainder of the butter and saute the chiles, onion, red bell pepper, leeks, and garlic until softened, about 7 minutes. Return the turkey to the pan. Add the spices (oregano, cayenne, cumin, coriander, and salt), and stir over the heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes at a low simmer. Add the corn and the black beans and heat through. Add the corn flour to thicken the chili. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and chopped cilantro.

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