Here’s another winter-time gem from Foster’s Market in Durham. This comes from Sara Foster’s first cookbook, a terrific collection that I have lived by since I bought it in North Carolina in 2002. I’ve made this for Danny, and he absolutely loves it; he has even asked me to make it again. This recipe is straightforward but rich with flavor, and it keeps well in the fridge for leftover lunch.
Sara Foster mentions turkey can be easily substituted for the chicken and that the chili can be made ‘green’ by using chopped tomatillos (fresh or canned) instead of chopped tomatoes. Any kind of bean can be used; Foster’s uses pinto, kidney or lima.
2 cups canned navy beans
1/4 cup olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno, diced with seeds
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons basil (chopped fresh or dried)
2 teaspoons ground cumin (comino)
8 cups chicken broth (from the can if you don’t keep your own!)
1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
1 12-oz can of beer
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
4 cups shredded cooked chicken (or equivalent browned ground turkey)
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 scallions, trimmed and chopped
1. Heath olive oil over medium in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook about 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until the onion has softened. Add the bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic, and cook about 5 minutes more, stirring constantly.
2. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and basil, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Add the broth, tomatoes, beer, Worcestershire sauce, chicken (or turkey) and cornmeal, and stir to mix well.
4. Add the salt and pepper, reduce heat to low, and simmer about 1.5 hours, uncovered. Add the beans and simmer an additional 30 minutes.
5. Garnish with cilantro and scallions. Serve immediately.