Sunday, November 16, 2008

Turkey Chili

Nothing says "Bring it on winter" like chili. But nothing say gastrointestinal inflation like chili. So a year ago when I first attempted to make chili, I needed to adapt it to be both hearty and not require a night on the couch. This recipe is originally adapted from a Rachel Ray chili but it is one of those things that is easily adapted to suit your taste, ingredients, and requirements. I also chose to make it with ground turkey because its healthier than beef and you don't get that gross ring of grease on the top. Ground turkey can be tough so I included some tips to keep it from turning to rubber. I usually make a pot of this every other week and I always bring it for lunch and Peter enjoys it for dinner.

A word on beans. I use kidney beans because they don't upset my stomach. If I use black beans they make me really sick. Use what type work for you.

Turkey Chili
Served 8-10
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Cook Time: 15 minutes
Simmer Time: 30-45 minutes

30 oz frozen veggies (I like peas, carrots, and corn but what ever you like)
2 lbs Ground Turkey
1 tbs tomato paste
1 small onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, through a garlic press or finely diced
2 tbs olive oil
43 oz crushed tomatoes (1 large can, 1 small)
15 oz diced tomatoes
47 oz kidney beans (3 small cans)
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tbs onion powder
1 tbs granulated garlic powder
1 tbs ground cumin
1/4 tbs Cayenne pepper
1/4 tbs red pepper flakes
1 tbs salt
1 tbs pepper

In a large dutch over or stew pot, heat the olive oil and brown the onion. We like to use our 8 oz oval Emile Henry ceramic dutch over because it can go right in the fridge. When soft, add the garlic and the tomato paste. Add the ground and diligently break up the meat until it is light grey in color and looks like ground beef. It will have a tendency to clump so you need to work it to keep it the right texture.

Once it is browned, added the diced and crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, and chili powder. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Add spices to taste, it will take some playing around to get it how you like it.

If you want non-spicy chili, eliminate the cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. If you want a smokier flavor, add some bacon or chilpotle peppers. You can also add a cup or two of beer for flavor.

This is a very easy, pantry recipe that can stretch all week. Once you make it using this ingredient list, you'll see how easy it is to improvise!

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