You may not want to think about cooking for a while, but if you make this chili and freeze part of it, you’ll have banked at least one night off. Comes in handy over the holidays. Also the perfect thing just when you can’t eat one more sweet potato casserole, slab of stuffing, or stick of butter. This chili cuts right through. It’s a releif. What’s more, if you have a tellie in the kitchen, you can make it while watching Homeland and not miss one bit. Saul, Carrie, and the CIA need your full attention to catch those terrorists; this chili can take care of itself. (As it is low-fat and high-protein, it takes care of you, too.)
Chicken may of course be substituted for turkey, ditto the stock. If you grew up going to the Piggly Wiggly in Tarboro and are somewhat mystified by tomatillos and anaheims, take heart. You can read up on tomatillos and substitutes for tomatillos in buzzle.com (Possibilities are canned tomatillos, green tomatoes, and green peppers.) And here is a very handy guide to peppers via MissVickie.com. Now I would be remiss if I didn’t note the Piggly Wiggly in Tarboro has come a long way and probably sports a decent Hispanic section thanks to the town’s evolving demographic. When capitalism meets cuisine, it’s a beautiful thing.
The recipe, in all its mgnificence, comes from Rancho La Zaca Chef Stephanie Valentine, in all her magnificence.
- 1 pound tomatillos, husked and wash
- 1 pound anaheim chilies, washed
- Olive oil, about 1/3 cup
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon combined chopped fresh oregano and thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon each dried
- 1 jalepeno, chopped (optional)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 pound, or so, leftover turkey or chicken
- 4 cups cooked Cannelini beans, drained, (about 3 cans' worth)
- 1 quart turkey or chicken stock
- Salt and pepper
- Garnish with any, all, or none: chopped onion, cilantro, avocado, jalapeno, grated Jack cheese, tomatillo salsa, pico de gallo, chopped radishes, sour cream.
- Pre-heat broiler. Toss tomatillos and anaheims with a tiny bit of oil to coat, and roast under broiler or on a hot grill until the skin is blistered and black on the anaheims and tomatillos are a bit charred, 3 to 5 minutes. Put the tomatillos into a bowl and cool. Put the chilies into a paper bag and seal or into a bowl and cover. (This steams them so the skins slide right off.)
- Peel the anaheims and slice into 2-inch by ¼-inch strips.
- Place cooled tomatillos with a couple tablespoons of the chilies in a blender and blend. Set aside.
- Put 2 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté onion, garlic and herbs for about 5 minutes and add the jalepeno (if using) and chili powder. Stir in the turkey, cooked beans, tomatillos, chiles, and stock. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve.