by Lorin Gaudin
IN RECENT YEARS, pumpkin has had a bad reputation. Blame it on Pumpkin Spice everything, but truth is, fresh or canned pumpkin purée is a great savory ingredient— no funky pie spices or sticky sweetness. Pumpkin gives body and a bit of heft, along with a bright, earthy flavor to soups, curries, pancakes and yes, chili. While beef can be a great partner with pumpkin, October and November temperatures tend to be cool, not cold, making chicken- based chili a great option. Keep things easy with a store- bought rotisserie chicken or go ahead and roast your own. Cooked together with poblano peppers, white beans and pumpkin, it’s all about fall in a bowl, and the best way to turn around pumpkin’s bad rep.
Pumpkin & White Bean Chicken Chili
Yield: Serves 4-6
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can white beans, rinsed, drained and set aside
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 2 medium poblano peppers, seeded and diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 package Carroll Shelby’s White Chicken Chili Kit, spice packet only
- 1 can pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and shredded (about 4 cups)
- Sour cream, to taste, for serving
- Crushed tortilla chips, for serving
- Shredded cheddar or Pepper Jack cheese, for serving
- Chopped flat leaf parsley, for serving
Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium- high heat, then add onion, jalapeño pepper and poblano peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute more. Add spice packet from Carroll Shelby White Chicken Chili Kit. Stir until well combined. Add pumpkin purée and 3 cups of chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Stir in shredded rotisserie chicken and reserved can of drained and rinsed white beans. Bring back to a simmer and cook until everything is heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, if necessary. If the chili looks brothy or a bit thin, allow it to sit and thicken. The longer it sits, the thicker it becomes.
Ladle chili into bowls and serve it as is or with garnishes.