In Holidays

October Chili

This is one unique chile coming to us from New England for our October cool evenings.

Excerpted from Sarah Leah Chase’s New England Open-House Cookbook (Workman). 

I have to confess that I am elated that my son’s years of agonizing over Halloween costumes and going trick-or-treating with friends are now a thing of the past. This means my life doesn’t have to center around remedying last-minute costume malfunctions, procuring candy, and monitoring its intake. Instead, I can do more pleasurable things like lovingly putting together a pot of Halloween chili laced with pumpkin and black beans. This festive chili would also hit the spot at any autumnal football tailgate gathering. I tend to go overboard with my chili embellishments and top my own bowl with almost everything but the kitchen sink. Feel free to choose any or all of the suggestions listed below—or to even add a few more of your own.

October Chili

Print Recipe

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-size onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely minced
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 cups chicken or turkey stock or broth, homemade or good-quality store-bought
  • 3 tablespoons cream sherry
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin (that’s pumpkin puree only), preferably organic
  • 1 can (14½ ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (about 15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups cooked turkey, chicken, or roast pork, cut into bite-size chunks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sliced scallions, diced avocado, minced fresh cilantro, shredded sharp orange cheddar cheese, and/or sour cream, for serving

Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and the bell, poblano, and jalapeño peppers. Cook until quite soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cumin, chile powder, and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the stock or broth, sherry, pumpkin, and tomatoes, stirring until evenly combined. Stir in the black beans and meat and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Let the chili simmer, partially covered, over medium-low heat until all the flavors have melded harmoniously, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Serve the chili hot, ladled into wide shallow bowls to allow plenty of surface space for topping with your favorite chili accoutrements. If making the chili in advance, cool and refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days. Reheat over medium-low heat.
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