Jack-O-Lantern Chili

Let the season of soup commence!

Crisp rain is falling on Baltimore this morning and the instinct to hibernate is fully engaged. Should I strap on my running shoes and dart through the falling leaves and knife-like rain drops? Or should I stay in my cave, simmer up some Halloween spirit, and prepare a cauldron of Jack-O-Lantern Chili? 

This chili always has my vote. It embodies the perfect blend of sweet, spice and smoke, and holds magical healing powers that keep you warm and cozy no matter how callous the weather is.  

Jack-O-Lantern Chili

Ingredients:
3 slices thick cut bacon, diced
2 sweet onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, grated
1 lb. extra lean ground chicken
1 butternut squash, seeded and diced
3 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. coriander
2 tsp. dried oregano
3 chipotle chilies in adobo, minced
3 cans fire-roasted tomatoes
2 cans black beans, rinsed well
1 bag of baby spinach
Kosher salt (to taste)
Red pepper flakes (to taste)
2 tbsp. brown sugar (to taste)

Directions:
In a large heavy pot, render bacon on medium heat until crispy. Add onions and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic; stir one minute. Add ground chicken and break apart with a wooden spoon. Once chicken is browned, sprinkle in chili powder and coriander. Stir in tomatoes with juice, butternut squash, salt, pepper flakes, chipotles, and oregano. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the squash is tender, stir in rinsed black beans, brown sugar and spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted and the beans are warmed through. Adjust seasonings to taste. Divide chili among bowls and top with fresh cilantro. 
Cook’s note: I find this is the perfect consistency just using the juice from the tomatoes; however, feel free to add a little chicken stock to loosen it up. Serve with brown rice for a hearty, healthy meal. 


14 comments:

  1. Mmmmm...more pumpkin and bacon :) What a fabulous chili recipe!

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  2. What a great idea to add pumpkin to your chili!! How healthy!! Yum!! I'm planning on making chili tonight too... but I don't have any pumpkin today. Next time for sure!! :)

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  3. Haha! Lizzy, you are so right. It would be great without the bacon; HOWEVER, I can't resist. The smokey bacon in the background adds that extra layer of ooomph. You can take my house. You can take my car. But don't you dare touch my bacon.

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  4. Thanks so much for commenting on my NY trip on my blog...this is my first visit to your blog. I LOVE IT! This chili looks fantastic, BTW!!!

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  5. This is AWESOME! I love the title....it's perfect for Halloween! the recipe looks mouth watering ....and your photos are delicious!

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  6. This chili looks so good and I agree with Ann fantastic name.

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  7. That's a great photo--love the idea of adding the pumpkin to chili!

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  8. This looks like a wonderfully hearty bowl of chili. This looks so comforting and has a great list of ingredients. Well done-yum!

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  9. Mmmm... Pumpkin and bacon! Divine!

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  10. I love the addition of butternut squash! This really looks wonderful.

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  11. Wow this looks amazing! I love all the flavors too!

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  12. Bacon and chipotles... mmmm... I can smell that deliciousness from here!

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  13. Running or cooking? I think that's a pretty unfair match up :) Brilliant chili!

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  14. I agree - I am in full-on soup mode right now. This looks awesome.

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