New Mexican Chili

Karen, FamilyStyle Food

I’ve heard that during fall months in New Mexico, the aroma of roasting chiles in the air is so powerful and enticing that people flock to festivals and markets to stock up on their supply for the year. When this hearty chili cooks in my kitchen it has a similar effect; the scent of smoky, savory spices seems to make people hungry. Tender cornmeal dumplings on top complete the deal.

New Mexican Chili and Buttermilk Dumplings
By Karen
Serves 6 – 8


For the chili:
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound raw turkey or chicken chorizo, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
1 poblano chile, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1 (29-ounce) can hominy, drained
2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 ½ cups chicken broth
Chopped green onions and cilantro for garnish

For the dumplings:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup fine cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon melted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup buttermilk


Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat; crumble in chorizo. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chorizo is no longer pink; remove to a plate with a slotted spoon.

Cook onion in remaining fat until softened; stir in poblano, garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and chipotle and cook 1 minute.

Add hominy, pinto beans, tomato sauce and chicken broth along with chorizo; bring to a simmer, then lower heat and cook, partially covered, 30 minutes. Taste and season with salt, if needed.

To make dumplings, stir flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt together in a medium mixing bowl; pour in butter, egg and buttermilk; mix until dough comes together. Scoop about 8 portions of dough to cover surface of simmering chili. Cover and cook gently until the tops of dumplings are puffed and dry to the touch.

Serve in bowls sprinkled with green onions and cilantro.

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5 thoughts on “New Mexican Chili

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  1. Elizabeth said:

    This is probably a good tasting recipe but to call it “New Mexico Chile” without any New Mexican chiles in it is a bit deceiving. Poblano’s aren’t what is usually thought of as New Mexico chiles, to my knowledge at least.

    This would be great with real New Mexico chiles ~ there’s nothing like them. Unfortunately if you don’t live there, you have to fork over a bit of cash to get them shipped to you. They’re already roasted and frozen. But man, are they good!

  2. c said:

    Agreed with Elizabeth, above. As a New Mexicab, I have to say it’s pretty sacreligious to make a dish and call it New Mexican without using any actual NM chiles whatsoever. If you’re curious to know why, read here about NM chiles:

  3. JH said:

    In NM this is what we would consider a modified version of TEXAS CHILI. Pablano Peppers are not grown in NM. New Mexico chile is a completly different animal – better! There are many, many wonderful receipes using NM Chile available online.