Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Favorite Turkey Chili

My husband LOVES this chili. It's one of our favorite things to make during the cold weather, and ESPECIALLY during Superbowl time....and the superbowl is coming up!!! This is a great meal to serve during Superbowl gatherings because you can keep it warm in the crock pot/slow cooker and serve it with toppings, tortilla chips, and cornbread on the side. Everyone assembles their own meal. It's great!

We found the recipe a few years back and have tinkered with it based on reviews and our preferences-extra garlic, lime juice, beer, cilantro in the soup, etc.--those are what make it "Sommerville Chili". But the stars and 'secret ingredients' are the cinnamon and cocoa powder. I know it might sound weird, but those ingredients absolutely MAKE this chili. Everyone that tries it loves it and always tries to figure out what "that particular flavor" is...use the lower amount of those ingredients if you are feeling unsure about the flavors the first time you make it (we use the higher amounts as many of the reviewers of the original recipe also commented that they did). It's almost like a mild mole chili.

Sometimes, chilis can have an overpowering tomato flavor--we resolved that issue by using beer instead of the 8 oz of tomato sauce can and often cut down the amount of stock. But, you can use the tomato sauce if you prefer. This turkey chili freezes very well and is delicious served on top of baked potatoes. My favorite thing to do with chili leftovers is make a Skyline chili dip. More on that later :)

Adapted from Bon Appetit
Serves 8-10.

1 Tbsp. olive oil or chili-infused olive oil (the latter is excellent!)
2 medium onions, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey (organic if you can find it)-I often use only a pound
1/4 cup chili powder
2 bay leaves
1-2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (28 oz) can whole or crushed tomatoes
2-3 cups chicken or beef stock (or a mix--I use Worthington brand)
1 (8 oz) can of tomato sauce OR 1 bottle of beer (we use the beer)
3 (15 oz) cans beans, rinsed, drained (white, kidney, black)
A few dashes of crushed red pepper
Juice of half a lime
Dash of marjoram

Chopped red onion or green onions
Chopped fresh cilantro (I often add a handful directly into the soup instead)
Plain low-fat yogurt or light sour cream
Shredded cheese (Mexican blend or Cheddar)

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until light brown and tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, oregano and cumin; stir 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high. Add turkey; stir until no longer pink, breaking up with back of spoon (if you use whole tomatoes, you will need to break them up with the back of the spoon or spoonula).

Stir in chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. Add tomatoes with their juices, breaking up with back of spoon. Mix in stock and tomato sauce/beer. Add left over ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add beans to chili and simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes longer. Discard bay leaves. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Re-warm over medium-low heat before continuing.)

Ladle chili into bowls. Pass red onion, cilantro, and yogurt--and any other toppings--separately.

**I often throw all the ingredients in the crock pot and leave the heat on low for 8-10 hours or high heat for about 6 hours. Just mix ingredients and break up the turkey/tomatoes with the back of a spoon/spoonula 2-3 hours into the cooking process.


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