““Winter tightened its grip on Alaska. The vastness of the landscape dwindled down to the confines of their cabin. The sun rose at quarter past ten in the morning and set only fifteen minutes after the end of the school day. Less than six hours of light a day. Snow fell endlessly, blanketed everything. It piled up in drifts and spun its lace across windowpanes, leaving them nothing to see except themselves. In the few daylight hours, the sky stretched gray overhead; some days there was merely the memory of light rather than any real glow. Wind scoured the landscape, cried out as if in pain. The fireweed froze, turned into intricate ice sculptures that stuck up from the snow.” Kristen Hannah, The Great Alone
The Great Alone was the book. The setting was Alaska. January was the month. Our hostess Allyson had made us a delicious pot of warming chili soup. Before we could start discussing Kristen Hannah’s latest book, moans of pleasure erupted around the table. “This is so good!” “What’s in it?” “How did you make this?” Allyson told us it was the Deer Valley Inn’s Turkey Chili recipe from the famous hotel in Utah and was kind enough to share the recipe with us. Her version had chicken instead of turkey. I made mine with cooked turkey from a breast I roasted the day before. I also used turkey stock made with the carcass of the same breast. This chili is more like a chunky soup and is totally different than any chili I’ve ever made. It has no tomatoes, similar to a white chili. It has more meat and broth than beans in it. The broth is thickened with puréed corn which gives it richness and a hint of sweetness. Totally awesome and so welcomed on a bone-chilling day with a howling wind rattling the windows. Dig in to both the chili and Hannah’s sensational tale set in Alaska.