Saturday, October 1, 2011



I have been a chili affection ado since I went to High School in Texas.  I used to be a purist.  Chili MUST have beef, it MUST have pork,, it MUST have beer, and it MUST have beans (I know, I know, there is the  Bean and No Bean school of Chili, but I am in the Bean school).  It must be thick and red.  For nearly 30 years I have tried to duplicate the Chili made by Chasens (now closed) in Los Angeles, which Elizabeth Taylor used to have flown to her by jet where ever she was.  

A few years ago we had a Chili dinner at work and one of my co-workers said she was bringing a Turkey Chili. I could hardly stop the sneer, "Turkey chili is like making ice cream with 2% milk.  It may look like ice cream, and it may freeze like ice cream, but it ain't ice cream."  My co-worker, Sandy, just smiled and said, "You'll see."

Well, I had a come to Turkey Chili meeting.  I saw the light.  I converted (well, I still sin once in a while with the old time religion, but I'm a convert).  This chili is spicy like chili should be; it's rich and filling, like chili should be.  No beef, no pork, no beans ... what is this world coming to.

Here it is.  Make it.  Lust after it.  Enjoy it ... even if you're on a diet (if you don't overdo).  Hallelujah!  Let's hear it for the Turkey Chili!


1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium yellow pepper, diced
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 pound ground turkey
1 glove garlic, minced
1 14 ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies or jalapenos
1 14 ounce can reduced sodium chicken stock
1 can sweet corn
2 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp mild chili powder
1 Tbsp Mexican oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil
black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 dashes of hot sauce (optional)
Chopped cilantro and green onion (optional)

Saute the onion, bell peppers, jalapeno and garlic in a small amount of olive oil until tender.

Add ground turkey and brown until completely cooked.

Add spices and corn.

Add the cans of tomatoes, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce, if desired.  Simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Simmer on medium-high heat for another 30 minutes.  Toss in the chopped cilantro and green onion in the last 10 minutes of cooking, if desired.

The chili should thicken slightly towards the last 15 minutes of cooking.  Refrigerating overnight also helps it thicken and the flavors blend for a better taste.  (We often leave the cilantro and onions off and add them just before serving.)  Serve with corn bread muffins and a small green salad or fresh fruit.

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