Friday, February 11, 2011

Turkey Chili

It's not a secret that I worship before the altar of Martha Stewart's empire.  I subscribe to Martha Stewart Living, Everyday Food, and when I was planning my wedding I purchased Martha Stewart Weddings the day it hit the newstands.  Although Lucinda Scala Quinn is threatening to move into the altar, Martha is number one.

The January/February issue of Everday Food is traditionally the "Light" issue to go along with resolutions of losing weight and eating healthier (and by the time we reach October it's all about savory meals and desserts...) I love this issue as I usually get the most ideas for meals from it.  It looks like a well worn in book!

I love chili... to a point.  If it's spicy, then I won't eat it.  It cooks such a large amount, it's hard for me to eat it by myself.  Mr. Unoriginal Chef is picky, so I figured he wouldn't eat it.  But I just had to make the Turkey Chili from the January/February issue.  Calorie count per serving:  171.  AWESOME. 

I also thought chili was difficult to make, but it was really pretty easy.  The hardest part was making sure my pot was big enough (I used a 3.5 quart saute pan with a lid, just big enough!) You should have seen me adding up the contents of all the ingredients to make sure it fit in my pan.

Math + cooking = friends when it's easy.

Also, a quick note on tomatoes.  America's Test Kitchen and EDF/MSL recommend using whole canned tomatoes, and then breaking them up in a food processor, with a spoon, whichever.  I understand the reasoning behind it (more flavorful tomatoes) however my grocery store only carries whole tomatoes by Muir Glen.  Each can is 3.99.  That gets pricey after a while, especially when I had a promo for the store brand canned tomatoes for 0.49 a can.  For me, it's a no brainer just to buy the already diced tomatoes, especially when they say to break up the tomatoes during cooking anyways.  Am I losing flavor?  Maybe, but the dishes still taste fine to me.  I'm going for simple, everyday meals that are affordable.  A 4.00 can of tomatoes versus 0.98 for two cans might not be much, but I'm looking at things in the long run.  (And to think I sucked at studying economics.)

The flavor of the chili on day one and two was intense.  It was so flavorful, a great mild kick without being spicy, and so hearty that I didn't think that this was a lower fat recipe.  Day three and four, the chili powder flavor started to wane, so definitely eat this within the first two days.  Also, I substituted the cut up pieces of turkey with ground turkey (NOT turkey breast, regular ground turkey) as I was too lazy to cut up turkey (and try to find turkey pieces.)  The ground turkey worked fine.

So much deliciousness.

Turkey Chili, Everyday Food, January/February 2011

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless turkey thighs, cut into 1/2 inch pieces.  (I used 1.25 pounds ground turkey)
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced small.  (I used 1 small yellow onion, diced finely.)
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced small
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablesppons ancho chili or regular chili powder (I used regular chili powder.)
  • 1 bottle amber lager beer or 1 1/2 cups of low sodium chicken broth (I used chicken broth)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, pureed.  (I used 2 14-15 ounce cans of peeled diced tomatoes.  Do not get the lower sodium tomatoes.)
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Coarse salt and pepper (I found this to be optional, it had plenty of flavor.)

1.  In a large heavy pot, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium high.  Add turkey and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through.  Transfer turkey to a bowl with a slotted spoon and pour off juices.  (Since I used ground turkey, I kept stirring to cook the slab of ground turkey all the way through... and I didn't pour off the juices.  I just threw it in the pot for more "flavor.")

2.  Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the pot.  Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.

3.  Add garlic, cumin, oregano and chili powder.  Cook until fragrant, one minute.

4.  Add beer (or broth) and cook, scraping up bits from the bottom of the pot until liquid thickens, about five minutes.

5.  Add tomatoes, turkey, beans, and 1/2 cup water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low, partially cover, and simmer until chili is dark and thick, about 45 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  (I don't think this is needed, as there is a lot of sodium in the tomatoes and also with the beans.)

Simmer baby, simmer!

Serve with tortilla chips (mmm), sour cream, greek yogurt, diced onion, jalapeno, cheese, anything that floats your boat.  If you cook it down thick enough, you can make some monster nachos out of this chili!



  1. Frig, that looks insanely delicious. Will have to try it next time I make chili, which is kinda similar to this; I use ground beef, no beer (or broth) and use tomato paste instead of canned 'maters, kidney beans instead of pinto and add some paprika/cayenne too. Truthfully, I just wing it each time so it never turns out the same twice.
    How big would each serving size be?

  2. Hi Anonymous - I got about... 4-5 servings out of the one pot, which are pretty good sized bowls.