White Bean and Chicken Chili with… Turkey!?

It’s January 8th and we had a high of 64 degrees today accompanied by clear blue, sunny skies in Northern California! Although the beautiful weather is welcomed and has allowed me a gorgeously perfect day at the coast, along with a day of having my windows open to take advantage of the fresh air, it IS early January and I’m still craving winter meals such as soup, stew and chili!  By the way, is gorgeously a word!? I digress.  Focus Allison. Focus. Back to winter comfort food…

Being my Chocolate Honey Almond Tart from my Giada At Home cookbook was such a hit for New Years (my dad went back for seconds!! :)), my first instinct was to check out what she had in-store for my Sunday dinner. As soon as I saw White Bean and Chicken Chili, I was sold. I pulled together my grocery list and hit the store. Which brings me to an ongoing frustration and a question no one has been able to answer… why is it so hard to find ground chicken?!  Do stores carry it in the months that have only 29 days!?  Does it have to be a full moon? Seriously. There are a variety of brands of ground turkey, but ground chicken, not so much. I can never find ground chicken when I’m looking for it. Fact. That leaves me with White Bean and Chicken Chili with TURKEY! 🙂

Paired with a Jalapeno Cheese Bagel from Panera Bread (a P.B. just opened up around the corner yesterday, I sense danger! LOL!) this chili, even with the turkey substitution, was deeee-licious!!!!!! This chili is meaty and satisfying! A must have when in the mood for a hearty, healthier chili. 🙂

White Bean & Turkey Chili

White Bean and Chicken Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground chicken
salt
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (15-ounce cans) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
4 cups (1 quart) low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, the cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Stir the flour into the chicken mixture. Add the beans, Swiss chard, corn, and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat and simmer for 55 to 60 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened. Add the red pepper flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the chili into serving bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Note: in addition to substituting ground turkey for the elusive ground chicken, I also substituted the cannellini beans with white beans.

Serves 4 to 6

Bon Appétit!

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