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Fall is pepper season — and the perfect time to make this chicken-chorizo chili. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

The phrase “locally sourced” used on a restaurant’s menu generally makes customers feel good about what they are ordering. Knowing that the chef or establishment is working closely with fishermen and farmers to bring you the best ingredients is something most year-round Hamptons residents look forward to (if not expect) when dining out.

Invite some friends and fam over for the game and serve this satisfying, hearty chili with a top-your-own fixins bar. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

Why not use that phrase to describe the chicken and chorizo chili simmering on the stovetop at your next gathering? 

Start with the main component, ground chicken. North Sea Farms in Southampton specializes in free-range organic chickens, all raised and grown on the family-owned and operated farm since 1945. A quick call to their friendly staff will assure you they have ground chicken in stock, which they sell frozen. They also carry chorizo from Karl Ehmer, so it’s a one-stop win-win.

Seasonings are critical in a good chili, and there are a few important ones in this recipe. Ditch the cupboard chili powder for freshly ground oregano, cumin and cayenne. A road trip to Sayville n Spice, where they grind seeds to order, will guarantee the earthy, fresh aromatics bloom. Ordering online for in-store pick-up is a convenient option they offer as well.

Sourcing locally grown peppers could get tricky. Amber Waves carries serrano peppers in season, but unless you or a neighbor planted bell peppers in your vegetable garden, you might have to bend and stop at the supermarket. We won’t tell. You can grab the canned goods while you’re there.

Rosemary should be a bit easier to find, and if you have had some growing all summer in a pot, it is beckoning for a trim. 

Hot peppers are still abundant this time of year — don’t fear the heat and go getcha some! (Photo credit: Doug Young)

And what about the fire-roasted tomatoes? While the liquid is essential from the 28-ounce can suggested in the recipe, why not roast some end-of-season cherry tomatoes on a sheet pan instead and add to the chili for extra flavor (and acquire more locally sourced points!).

What does it come down to for chili lovers? Garnishing. This recipe will pair well with most of the traditional chili toppings — chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, sour cream or crème fraîche and grated cheddar cheese (Mecox Farmhouse cheddar is a good choice).

The crunch of tortilla chips is also an essential part of the chili experience. The over-salted, crumbly supermarket brands don’t cut it. Stop in at Cilantro’s in Sag Harbor to order the tortilla chips they make on-premise. They will also enhance the cornmeal flavor of the chili that gets added in for the last 15 minutes.

While the chili is simmering and your guests are sipping on lager and watching the game, set up a fixins bar on the counter with all the toppings in small bowls — this way, guests can source the extras on their locally sourced chili. 

Chicken and Chorizo Chili

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Serves 6 servings


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb pasture-raised Karl Ehmer chorizo sausage, chopped
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced
  • 4 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb North Sea Farms ground chicken
  • 1 28 oz can fire-roasted, diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 15.5 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15.5 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp cornmeal
  • coarse salt, to taste


  • Heat vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; cook and stir chorizo in hot oil until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove chorizo using a slotted spoon to a bowl. 
  • Add the chopped onion to the Dutch oven and cook until softened, 8 minutes.
  • Add garlic, chiles, rosemary, cumin, oregano and cayenne and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes, season with salt.
  • Add the ground chicken and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, 5 minutes. Stir in reserved, cooked sausage.
  • Add tomatoes, beans, tomato paste and 2-3 cups of broth, making sure the Dutch oven won’t boil over.
  • Partially cover, reduce heat and simmer until chili is thickened slightly, 25 minutes.
  • Stir in cornmeal and cook additional 15 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt.
  • Serve hot into individual bowls and let your guests go crazy with garnish at the fixins bar!