In honor of this post-holiday winter month of January I’ve decided that it’s about time for some Turkey Chili. I will cling onto every tiny thread of winter before this desert valley once again becomes a fiery inferno and for me that includes wearing scarves, boots, hot tea, utilizing the fireplace, soups and CHILI. Chili is a good choice for so many reasons: it’s kind of like pizza in that you can basically throw in there whatever you want/have, there are tons of different combinations to work with and it’s applicable to pretty much any diet (when I was a vegetarian and dabbling with vegan I used to make chili with beans, lentils etc. and it was just as good if not sometimes better than chili with meat). Chili is generally a one pot wonder kind of meal, the older it gets (up to a certain point of course) the better it tastes and you can make huge batches, freeze the leftovers and have meals ready in minutes for months. You can also put chili with anything: when I was younger I remember we used to put it on pasta and sometimes (once we became a little more health conscious) on brocolli, or if you want to be like my Dad circa 2000 in Pinetop at Sunrise Ski Resort you can put it over Frito Lays (Yummy!). I’m partial to putting some Fage Greek Yogurt on top (better alternative to the usual sour cream) and having some sweet potato on the side. I’m not a huge meat eater and even less of a meat cooker so this will definitely be one of the few meat recipes you’ll find on this site. With the exception of the vegan and vegetarian ventures, we usually use the same simply chili recipe in my family and this one here is based off of that one from****
- 2 T Veg Oil (just for cooking the onion and garlic)
- 2 White Onions, pretty finely chopped
- 4 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
- 3 lb Ground Turkey (I used the extra lean kind, 99% to 1%)
- 3 Cans of Various Beans (make any combo of chili, kidney, garbanzo, black, cannolini etc.), drained but not necessarily rinsed
- 2, 15 oz Cans of Tomato Sauce
- 4 T Chili Powder
- 2 T Ground Cumin
- 1/2 t Cayenne Pepper
- Splash of Sriracha (if you want it extra spicy)
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
Start off by heating the oil over med-high heat in a big big pot. Once hot enough add your onions and garlic and let cook until the onions are softer and transluscent (about 5 minutes)…also be sure to not let the garlic burn (I did that one time and had to start the whole peeling, chopping, crying, cooking process all over again).
You’re now ready to add your ground turkey meat; also lower the temperature of the stove to more of a medium. Be sure to break up the turkey and let cook all the way through, until there is NO pink left, stirring occassionally.
Now throw your beans, tomato sauce and spices into the mix, stirring well. Let the mixture come to a simmer and then you can turn the temperature low. Add your salt and pepper to taste now. Basically it’s ready to eat, but the longer you let it sit the better it will definitely be!