Green Spring Chili and French Fry Pie

April 2006
Green Spring Chili and French Fry Pie

by 12 people

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This recipe is a healthy take on the french fry and potato nugget pies that were big in the '80s. Back in the day, meat was mixed with canned mushroom soup or spaghetti sauce and topped with cheese, then fries or nuggets—heart-attack city! This quick, turkey breast-based green chili is super heart smart. The crunchy shoestring potato layer is a compromise—a little something sinfully crisp on top!

Makes: 6 servings

  • 1 28 ounce package  frozen shoestring potato fries
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), 2 turns of the pan
  • 2 pounds ground turkey breast
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (a palmful)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can  white kidney or cannellini beans, drained
  • 3/4 cup beer (one-half a 12-ounce bottle) or 3/4 cup chicken broth (eyeball it)
  • 2 cups store-bought tomatillo (green) salsa
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 pinches of cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees . Arrange the fries in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, tossing halfway through, until browned, 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil smokes, add the turkey and cook, breaking up the meat. Season with salt and pepper, the poultry seasoning and cumin; brown and crumble the meat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes more. Add the beans and stir to heat through. Add the beer and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the salsa and simmer the chili over low heat. When the fries finish baking, stir the cilantro into the chili. Transfer the chili to a medium casserole (it should be filled to the rim) and top with the scallions.
  3. Mix a teaspoon of salt with the chili powder and cayenne. Remove the fries from the oven and top with the seasoned salt. Pile the fries on top of the casserole, evenly covering the green chili, and serve.