Chicago’s Navy Pier is a feast for the senses – great food, incredible scenery and a variety of
entertainment all on 50 acres of floating fun. So to honor this Chicago landmark we present a chowder
style chili with roasted garlic and navy beans , and just a little heat from the poblano pepper. It’s a great
chill-chaser for those long, winter days ahead.
Level of Difficulty: Medium
3 heads garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 strips bacon, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1 poblano chili pepper, diced
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup flour
1 quart chicken broth
5 baby Yukon gold potatoes, diced
2 (10 oz.) cans baby clams, undrained
1 (15 oz.) cans navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon bacon salt (optional - see note)
Fresh chives (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 400°. Cut garlic heads in half (horizontally), arrange in small ovenproof dish, drizzle
with olive oil and cover with foil. Roast at 400° for 45 minutes or until soft and lightly browned. Cool.
When cool enough to handle, press cloves from garlic skins. Mash cloves to a paste. Reserve.
Fry the bacon in a large stockpot over medium high heat until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper
Add the butter to any remaining bacon drippings in the pot. Add onion, celery and poblano pepper.
Cook for 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add Old Bay seasoning, salt, pepper and flour.
Stir for 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth. Bring mixture to a boil – boil and stir for 1 minute. Add potatoes
and lower heat. Simmer, stirring often, for 30 minutes or until potatoes are nearly tender. Stir in
reserved roasted garlic, baby clams, navy beans and heavy cream. Continue cooking and stirring for
15 minutes. Stir in bacon salt, if using.
To serve, ladle chili into bowls, sprinkle with reserved bacon and garnish with fresh chives.
Note: Bacon salt (available in the spice section of local grocery stores) is both a great flavor booster
and a fun oxymoron – it’s both vegetarian and low-sodium!