Thursday, October 25, 2012

Harvest Chili

I don’t know about where you live, but here in Tennessee, fall has really set in. The leaves are bright gold, the air is crisp, and thoughts of comfort foods are swirling around in my head.

Usually at this time of year it’s still quite warm here. Sure, we get a cool snap or two, but then we bounce back into the 70s and even 80s right up until Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, this year has been particularly chilly, so I’m pulling out the cold weather recipes even earlier, which means soup, soup and more soup!

This awesome recipe, from last October’s issue of Better Homes & Gardens, features my favorite fall ingredients: squash, apples and sage. It’s hearty, a little bit sweet, and packed with flavor. If you’re looking to capture the flavors of fall in a bowl, this is the recipe for you. Enjoy!

Harvest Chili
Better Homes & Gardens, October 2011

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. cooked chicken-apple sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces (I recommend Trader Joes)
2 large red onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut in ¾ inch chunks
2 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¾ inch slices
1 15 oz. to 16 oz. can pinto beans, rinsed, drained and slightly mashed
1 tbsp. snipped fresh sage (definitely use fresh – it makes the dish)

In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium-high. Add sausage, cook 5 to 6 minutes, until browned; stir occasionally. Remove with slotted spoon.

In same pan, cook onions and garlic 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nearly tender. Add squash; cook 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder, ¼ tsp. salt, and cayenne; cook 1 minute. Return sausage to pot. Add broth; bring to boiling, then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 8 minutes.  

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high. Cook apples 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until light brown. Transfer apples along with beans to chili. Simmer 3 to 4 minutes, until apples are tender. Top with sage and extra apple, if desired.

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