turkey chili


Winter = chili in my world, at least.  Nothing like a spicy, steamy bowl after a long, blustery walk in the woods.  I have many, many versions of chili but I thought this one to be the most appropriate for January.  It's substantial enough to warm you through yet light enough to make you feel like you are still moving in the right direction.

Turkey, is well, turkey.  Not most thrilling companion most days.  BUT, with some small tweaks (like layering a little extra olive oil) and addition of cocoa powder and cinnamon, the game is forever changed.  Spices are like that.

I like to use any leftover chili as filling for quesadillas.  Just add a little sharp cheddar or monterey jack and serve with some tomatillo salsa for brightness.  Then winter starts to feel like summer is just around the corner.


turkey chili

serves 6-8

2 lbs ground turkey breast

2 t ground chipotle pepper

2 t cayenne

1-2 t ground cumin

1 T brown sugar

2 t salt (or to taste)

1 T black canyon chili powder or 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/2 t dried oregano, 1 t cocoa powder, 1 t cayenne

4 0z diced hatch chilies

28 oz crushed tomatoes  (fire roasted are GREAT)

1/3 c cilantro, chopped

15 oz cooked kidney or black beans (if using canned, drain and rinse)

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

olive oil

Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and heat until just about smoking.  Add the turkey and cook until slightly browned, adding more oil as necessary.

Toss in the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent.

Add the tomatoes, chilies, beans and spices.  Cook for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together and begin to adjust the seasonings according to your taste.  Add 1-2 cups of water, depending on how thick or thin you like it.  Cook for about 20 minutes just above a simmer to allow all of the flavors to come together.  Adjust seasoning and water again.  Add the fresh cilantro and serve with all the garnishes you like, such as avocado, grated sharp cheddar, sliced green onions, etc etc.