The changing seasons usher in new flavors and new dishes -- and Fall brings with it the best of both. It's time to break out the dutch oven and create all manner of soups, stews, braises and chili.
Wes' sister and her son came for dinner on Halloween, so I decided to improvise on the standard one-pot meal and make an Italian-inspired chicken chili.
Actually, it's a bit of a stretch to call this chili -- it's more like a stew, or with a little more liquid, could pass as a soup. Paired with crispy, herby Rosemary Thyme Pita Chips by machef on food52, it made for a perfect pre-trick-or-treat meal.
These lightly sweet and savory crisps are now a staple in our home
What Fall dishes make it back to your table year-after-year? I'd love to hear about your favorites in the comments section.
Italian Chicken Chili
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced thinly
2 medium carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 a red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
crushed red pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (you can use fresh but I only had dried on hand)
1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
1/2 cup dry white wine, preferably Italian
3.5 cups cooked, shredded chicken, white and dark meat
1 15 oz can drained and rinsed cannellini beans
2-3 cups homemade chicken stock, to taste (you can use a good-quality canned stock, but will sacrifice flavor)
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, for serving
1) Pour olive oil into a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and red pepper and cook until soft, about 15 minutes, stirring often.
2) Add garlic, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and dried and fresh herbs. Enjoy the earthy, fragrant scents that waft through your kitchen.
3) Deglaze the pot with the white wine, scraping up any lovely browned bits from the bottom.
4) Add chicken, beans and combine gently until lightly warmed, taking care to keep the beans whole.
5) Pour the stock into the chicken mixture. Be liberal if you want a brothy, soupy consistency, and less if you're looking for a chili or stew consistency.
6) Continue to cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with chopped basil leaves and freshly grated parmesan.
Serve with rosemary pita chips, a crisp green salad, and a glass of wine. Enjoy!