In the vegan and vegetarian world, jackfruit is a blessing when it comes to adding a hearty touch to typically meaty dishes such as chili. Jackfruit has a mild flavor that is a lot like a blank canvas that easily takes on the flavors of sauces or spices used with it. In the case of this flavorful and cozy dish, spices like coriander, paprika, oregano, and cumin add a warm and toasty edge to this can't-believe-it's-vegan chili. The jackfruit has a shockingly good meaty texture while the supporting flavors lend it an unforgettable quality that simply proves that a meatless chili can actually be very meaty and satisfying.
1 medium yellow or white onion, peeled and quartered
2 medium serrano chiles
1 medium jalapeno pepper
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
4 cups vegetable broth
2 (15-oz) cans white beans (such as navy, great northern, or cannellini), drained and rinsed, divided
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 (15-oz) cans jackfruit in brine, drained, thoroughly rinsed, and patted dry
Preheat broiler to HIGH. Arrange onion, serrano, and jalapeno on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Broil 6 inches from the element until charred on all sides, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Place peppers and onion in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let steam 10 minutes. Peel peppers; discard peels, stems, and seeds. Combine peppers, onion, garlic, 1/2 cup vegetable stock, and 1 can navy beans in a blender; blend until smooth.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add cumin, oregano, coriander, and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add jackfruit and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion mixture, remaining 31/2 cups vegetable stock, remaining can of beans, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve with garnishes.
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