The Challenge: Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili

I’ve made the commitment to see how long I can go without going to the grocery store. To make the challenge more interesting I plan on having people over for dinner on a regular basis. I had friends coming over for dinner last night and had to make something I hoped they would like. Since this whole experiment is about using stuff I already have on hand I looked to the freezer for inspiration.  What struck me was ground turkey. I think ground turkey gets a bad rap from a lot of “foodies”. I know beef has more flavor. I will concede on that one. But ground turkey is a great, healthy source of protein that can be pretty tasty when cooked properly. I decided on chili since the mix of aromatic ingredients would enhance the somewhat bland turkey. It came out pretty darn good. Here is what I did.

Turkey Chili

2 c. dry pinto beans

2 onions, chopped


4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 lbs. ground turkey

3 qts. canned tomatoes- I used home canned tomatoes

1 c. chicken stock

1/3 c. chili powder- or more to taste

2 T. paprika

2 t. cumin

1 t. cinnamon

salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste


Hot cooked spaghetti

chopped sweet onion

shredded cheddar cheese

Soak the beans in cold water over night or use the quick soak method. To quick soak the beans- place them in a pot and cover with water- bring to a boil- cook 5 minutes then turn off the heat and let the beans soak in the water, covered for an hour. Drain and rinse the soaked beans and place in a pot with fresh lightly salted water and cook until tender. My pinto beans were tender in about and hour. You could use a couple of cans of any beans you like instead. Just drain and rinse well.

In skillet heat oil and saute onions over high heat until they start to get brown. Add the garlic and cook another minute or so- but don’t let the garlic burn. Place onion mixture in a crock pot. Add the cooked beans and the tomatoes to the crock pot, too. In the same skillet that you browned the onions, brown the ground turkey, in batches. I don’t worry about breaking up the turkey, in fact, I leave the turkey in sort of patties. Press it into the skillet to flatten it and turn it to cook both sides. I like big chunks of turkey in my chili. Once the turkey is nicely browned add it to the crock pot with the seasonings and stock and cook it on high for at least 4 hours. Longer is better. Adjust seasonings and serve with the extras.

Note: If you like thicker chili,just take the top off the crock pot for 30 minutes or so before serving.


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