Wednesday, February 1, 2012

White Bean and Ground Turkey Chili

With the advent of cold weather, I've been experimenting with warm comforting foods like chili, and was pleasantly surprised when I tried a recipe for White Bean and Chicken Chili by Giada de Laurentiis.  The fennel seed gives such a wonderful flavor to this chili, and when topped with a bit of Parmesan cheese, it's fabulous!  It's also a very healthy chili, lower in fat due to the ground turkey and higher in nutrition because of the spinach.

NOTE: If you omit the Parmesan cheese, this recipe is casein free.  I posted this first on my other blog: My Experiment in Gluten Free Living.

I modified it slightly to suit our taste and to make it gluten free; here is my version:


2 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground turkey or chicken
1 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
2 T ground cumin
1 T fennel seeds
1 T dried oregano
1 T chili powder
1/2 T Old Bay Seasoning
3 T sweet rice flour, or other gluten free flour (even Pamela's Baking Mix should work)
2 (15-ounce cans) cannellini or other white beans, drained
1 bag pre-washed baby spinach, torn into bite-sized pieces
4 - 5 C low-sodium gluten free chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
Grated Parmesan cheese


In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground turkey, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, chili powder, and Old Bay. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Stir the sweet rice flour into the meat mixture. Add the beans, spinach, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cover with lid tilted to allow steam to escape and simmer for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the chili into serving bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley (no cheese if you're casein free!). This is a great meal, especially served with gluten free corn bread on a cold winter's night!

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