What’s more comforting than a big bowl of chili on a cold night? How about a chili chock full of smoky bacon, bourbon, and sweet maple syrup, all served on top of a cornbread waffle? Oh yeah, this chili dinner fills you up and warms your soul.
Bacon, cumin, smoked paprika and bourbon give this chili a nice smoky flavor base that matches well with the gentle hint of sweetness from maple syrup. Some raw onion and cilantro sprinkled on top give each bite a little brightness. I could have just made plain old cornbread but using a muffin mix in a waffle maker is so easy and so good.
Maple Bacon Bourbon Chili on Cornbread Waffle
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Two 14-oz. cans diced tomatoes
- One 15-oz. can red kidney beans
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- One 8.5-oz. box of Jiffy corn muffin mix
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/4 cup minced yellow onion (optional)
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (optional)
- Place a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon pieces and sauté until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, scoop up bacon pieces and drain on a paper towel. Set aside.
To the bacon fat in the large pot, add the ground turkey. Break the turkey apart with a wooden spoon. Add the onion. Cook 6-8 minutes until the onion becomes translucent, stirring occasionally. Turkey should be cooked through.
- Add the cumin, cayenne, smoked paprika, ground coriander, salt, and black pepper. Cook 1 minute, stirring often.
- Add the diced tomatoes, beans, bourbon and maple syrup. Stir well. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to low or medium-low and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the chili simmers, mix together the corn muffin mix, egg, and milk (or as per the mix instructions).
- Preheat waffle iron to medium heat (350°F to 375°F) or as manufacturer directs. When the waffle iron is ready, lightly grease and pour in 3/4 cup of batter. Cook until steaming stops (or waffle iron indicates done). Repeat with the remaining batter. Makes two 7-inch Belgian waffles.
- Place half a waffle onto each plate. Spoon some chili over each half-waffle and top with a sprinkle of crispy bacon pieces, minced raw onion, and cilantro. Serve immediately.
Alicia Ghio is a passionate home cook on a mission to inspire others to know where their food comes from, to know what’s in it and to savor the flavors of fresh, local ingredients. She is the founder and author of the blog Local Food Rocks.