Thursday, January 17, 2013

WHITE BEAN TURKEY CHILI (or chicken, or pork)

Well y'all know that chili is a tradition to serve for the Super Bowl, and the Super Bowl is just around the corner.  I asked Billy which chili I should make; the red chili with red beans, beef, tomatoes, and red chili peppers or white chili with white beans, turkey and green chilies?  He said the white chili, and I was so glad because I have a thing for green chili pepper; I looooove them, and the green chilies definitely shine in white chili.

The Super Bowl is like a national holiday, so the chili needs to be special, ya gotta make an effort.  I start with soaking my own beans, the texture and flavor is superior to canned bean (I do use canned beans when I make a week night chili, but not for my special chili).  I also roast my own chili peppers for this recipe; but if you really don't want to you could add a couple of cans of green chilies, it' your chili!

Here's what you do.
 Soak the cannellini beans the night before, according to the package directions.

The next day, when you are ready to make the chili, drain and rinse the beans, set them to the side until its time to add them to the chili.

Add some olive oil to the pan along with the turkey (or chicken, or lean pork) and the sausage and brown over medium high heat.
When the meat is about 3/4 of the way browned, add the onions, jalapenos, garlic and some salt and pepper.

When the onions are translucent add the cumin, allspice and oregano, cook for 3 to 5 minutes more; this allows the spices to toast a little.

I don't drink tequila, so I bought a couple of these little guys, it's probably way cheaper to buy the big bottle.  Add the tequila and cook until it's evaporated.

Now add the drained beans...

...The chicken stock (low sodium please) and the water...

...Toss a bay leaf in for good measure.
Bring the chili to a simmer, then partially cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat down to medium low.

To roast the poblano peppers, rub the skins all over with oil.  I know there are 3 peppers in the photo, but I only used two in the recipe.
Roast the peppers for about 15 minutes, turning them half way through.  See how charred and blistered the skins get, that's good.

Put the hot, roasted poblano peppers into a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  This creates steam which facilitates in removing the skin.

Use the back of a knife or your fingers, to pull the skin off of the poblanos.
  Remove the seeds as well and cut the peppers into about a 1/2 inch dice.
After the chili has simmered for an hour, season with salt and pepper if necessary...

...Add the diced poblanos and the corn meal.  Put the lid back on the way it was, an simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes, until the beans are soft.

Add some cilantro before serving. 

Serve White Bean Chili with tortillas, corn bread or rice.
If you like you can top it with a little Monterey Jack, or cheddar cheese.

Serves 6 to 8

½             lb.           Dry cannellini beans
                              Olive oil 
20            oz.           Ground turkey, chicken, or lean pork
½             lb.           Turkey, chicken, or Italian sausage; removed from the casing
1                             Medium onion, medium dice
2                            Jalapenos, diced fine (with or without seeds it’s up to you; the seeds are hot)
2              cloves       Garlic, minced
4              tsp.          Cumin
1              tsp.          Allspice
1              Tbsp.        Oregano, preferably Mexican
1                             Bay leaf
1/3           cup          Tequila
4              cups         Chicken stock, low or no sodium
2              cups         Water
                              Salt and Pepper to taste
2                             Poblano peppers
3              Tbsp.        Corn meal
1/4           cup          Cilantro, chopped

  1.        The night before; soak the beans according to the package directions.
  2.       When you are ready to make the chili drain and rinse the soaked beans, set to the side.
  3.       Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the bottom of a 6 quart pot or Dutch oven, along with the turkey (or chicken or pork) and the sausage to brown over medium high heat.
  4.       When the meat is about 3/4 of the way browned, turn the heat down to medium and add the onions, jalapenos and garlic, season with a little salt and pepper. Do not add the poblano peppers.
  5.       When the onions are translucent, add the cumin, allspice, and oregano, stir and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes longer.
  6.       Add the tequila, and cook until the tequila has evaporated.
  7.       Add the drained beans, the chicken stock, water and bay leaf.  Bring the liquid up to a simmer, check for seasoning, add more salt and pepper if needed.  Then partially cover the pot with a lid, and turn the heat to medium low.
  8.       Meanwhile; preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  9.       Wash and dry the poblano peppers.  Rub the skin all over with a little olive oil.  Lay the poblanos on a sheet pan.  Roast in the hot oven for about 15 minutes, turning half way through.  The skin should blister and char.
  10.   When the poblanos have roasted, remove them to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove the skin and the seeds from the poblanos.  Cut the poblanos into about ½ inch dice.
  11.   After the chili has simmered for an hour, stir in the roasted poblano peppers and the cornmeal.  Return the lid, and simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes, until the beans are soft.
  12.  To finish, stir in the chopped cilantro.

Serve White Chili with corn bread, tortilla chips or rice.  Top with cheese if desired.
White Chili freezes well.


  1. This recipe is so unique and I'm dying to try it! I've never used tequilla in chili and I bet it give it such a rich flavor. Love the pasilla peppers and white beans. On my to make list!

  2. now that's what i call a hearty meal! i have made chilli the old fashioned way with red beans but i want to try this version too :)

  3. mmm seriously loving the flavors going on in here! Tequila? Awesome.