There is nothing better than a warm bowl of chili on a cool evening. Most of us have a favorite chili recipe that we have perfected over the years, but it is always fun to try a new one. Seasoned meat and beans in a rich tomatoey sauce are the usual suspects in a pot of chili, however dark meat turkey is a game changer in this Turkey Chili recipe.
Dark meat turkey adds tremendous juicy flavor and absorbs sauce like no other. Also, it tends to lighten up the mix of meat and beans a tad more, than if you are using beef or pork.
The right combination of beans is another delicious element to creating a great pot of chili. I use a mixed bean blend, along with some white cannellini beans for a terrific combination of flavor. The different silky bean textures compliment each other and bath nicely with the tomato sauce.
I enjoy making a big pot of Turkey Chili during the week and having the leftovers for lunch or for another dinner ladled over pasta, sausages or in its original form. Also, it makes great tailgate food – easy to bring in a thermos or reheat on an outdoor stove.
2 pounds dark turkey meat
1 green bell pepper
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces tomato paste
1 cup tomato sauce
15 ounce can stewed tomatoes
15 ounce can mixed beans or any combo of red or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15 ounce can great northern or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
cheddar cheese, optional
1. Dice onion and add it to a pot with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place over medium heat and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Finely dice the jalapeno, removing the seeds from half and dice up the bell pepper. Add the jalapeno and bell pepper to the onion mixture and continue to saute for 3 minutes.
3. Add all the dry spices to the onion mixture and stir to combine. Cook mixture for 3 minutes to remove any raw taste from the spices.
4. Add the ground turkey to the onion mixture and stir to break apart. Stir to incorporate the onion mixture with meat and continue cooking for 12 minutes, or until the turkey is cooked through.
5. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes to the meat mixture and stir to combine. Continue cooking for 8 minutes, until the tomatoes are absorbed into the meat mixture.
6. Add the beans to the chili and stir. Turn the heat to low and place lid ajar on top. Simmer chili for 30-45 minutes. Ladle the Turkey Chili into bowls and sprinkle with sharp white cheddar cheese or a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!