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updated: 10/31/2012 10:05 AM

Pumpkin Chicken Chili

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  • Full of pumpkin, this is the perfect chili for cool fall evenings.

    Full of pumpkin, this is the perfect chili for cool fall evenings.
    Toni L. Sandys/Washington Post


2 tablespoons canola oil

1 large Vidalia onion, chopped (1¼ cups)

1 large red onion, chopped (1¼ cups)

2 poblano chili peppers, diced (¾ cup)

1 medium orange bell pepper, diced (1 cup)

1 pound ground white chicken meat, preferably organic

1 cup pumpkin purée

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 bay leaf

1 can (15 ounces) white beans, such as navy beans

2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika

Dash cinnamon

Dash allspice

Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Scallions, cut crosswise into thin slices, for garnish

Avocado, diced, for garnish

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onions, chili peppers and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has browned, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the pumpkin purée, tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, bay leaf and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, paprika, cinnamon and allspice. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

To serve: Divide the chili into individual bowls and garnish each portion with cilantro, scallions and/or avocado, as desired.

Serves eight to 10.

Cook's note: To make this vegetarian, replace the chicken with additional beans and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Nutrition values per serving (assumes 10): 210 calories, 15 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 5 g dietary fiber, 6 g sugar.

Adapted from Elaine Gordon,

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