Turkey Chili with White Beans

Okay, I admit it-  I am in a sad state of denial that we are still in the deep throws of summer.  It's just that we've been having such crisp, pleasant weather I had nearly convinced myself that Autumn had arrived.  I've been drinking hot tea all day long, wearing scarves and long sleeve shirts.  We've even been sleeping with our bedroom door open to our patio.  It's been wonderful. But of course I was kidding myself, for when I stepped outside this afternoon I was reminded about how wrong I was.  Today it was a solid ninety-one degrees and the air was thick with humidity.  A classic Philadelphia summer day.  But it didn't matter because I had already decided to make this Turkey and White Bean Chili and no sweltering summer heat was going to stand in my way. 

I am so happy I did because it turned out delicious.  Dan and I adjusted the recipe slightly- we added a bit more cumin and chili powder, one jalapeño pepper, fresh sweet corn and approximately one third cup of maple syrup, which might sound odd, but it sweetened the chili ever so slightly while rounding out the flavors of chili, cocoa powder and cinnamon quite nicely.  I will make it again, but there better be crunchy fallen leaves on the sidewalk and gourds sitting on my window sill.

We topped the chili with a dollop of sour cream, grated cheddar cheese and sliced avocado and served it with homemade blue corn muffins.

Turkey Chili with White Beans
adapted from Bon Appetit

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 minced jalapeño
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 pounds lean ground turkey
1/4 cup chili powder
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
Real honest to goodness Maple Syrup, to taste (I added it tablespoon by tablespoon until I reached my desired flavor)
1 cup of fresh sweet corn
3 cups chicken broth
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
3 15-ounce cans small white beans, rinsed, drained

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions (and jalapeño, if using); sauté until light brown and tender, about 10 minutes. Add oregano and cumin; stir 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high. Add turkey; stir until no longer pink, breaking up with back of spoon. Stir in chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. Add tomatoes with their juices, breaking up with back of spoon. Mix in stock and tomato sauce.
Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add corn, beans and maple syrup (to taste, if using) to chili and simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes longer. Discard bay leaves.

Serve with red onion, cilanto and yogurt as Bon Appetit suggests or whatever you little heart desires.  Dan and I served it with sour cream, cheddar cheese and avocado slices.