A close friend of mine, who happens to also be a coworker, has recently been given a couple of amazing opportunities (newly engaged for one) and a new job for two. So, obviously, she is leaving us and moving onto the next chapter of her story. We threw her a little party ‘potluck style’ at work this week. This week was really bittersweet, because although we will still stay in touch it is going to be very different not having her at work, but I am also extremely excited for her in this transition of her life.
I made a pot of chili for the potluck. And for some reason, I completely forgot to take pictures or think about how I would blog about it. But after receiving so many compliments on the chili, and now deciding that this recipe will be joining my list of foods I love to cook, I have decided I should post it. So I apologize for the lack of pictures, but I will add them to the post the next time I make it (which will probably be soon).
The recipe is adapted from this one:
Giada De Lorentis is an outstanding chef and I make a lot of her recipes. I normally don’t modify them too much either because I normally feel they are pretty perfect the way they are. But I felt like getting a little creative with this one, and I wanted to use ingredients that I had in the house. (i.e. her recipe called for fennel seeds which I didn’t have, so I used sesame ). And I added in the tomatoes which I think added some depth to the flavors – side note: Steven really appreciated how I described this, either that or he was making fun of me.
Here is what I did:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound chicken sausage
- 4 slices low sodium bacon
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 (15-ounce cans) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can diced tomatoes, rinsed and drained
- 1 bunch (about 1/2 pound) Kale, stems removed, leaves chopped
- 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
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 bacon, cook for another 30 seconds. Add the chicken sausage, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, sesame seeds, thyme, and chili powder.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
Stir the cornstarch into the chicken mixture. Add the beans, kale, corn, tomatoes, half the chopped parsley, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 55-60 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, to taste.
Ladle the chili into serving bowls. Sprinkle with the parm and chopped parsley. Serve with rice or a random assortment of potluck goodies