First at Bat: Andrea’s Turkey Chili

Before I started my new career as SAH mom; I was a VP at a small software company.  I became good friends with the VP of Sales and Marketing, Andrea.   We spent a lot of time traveling to industry trade shows together and I learned a lot from her about the sales cycle, building channels, what to look for in a good salesperson, and most importantly how to close the deal.   Andrea, who is blond and petite, is a tiger in that area; she started her sales career at a big tech company (I knew the company solely because my husband Kurt was forever talking about them when he worked at AOL) and she is hard core.

Although we eventually moved on from those roles, I still keep in touch with her.  She was one of the first people to follow and comment on my blog; she’s a foodie, wine aficionado and a great cook.  So when I asked readers for “lighter” recipes, hers was the first to appear in my Inbox.  It’s a turkey chili recipe; one of the ingredients is  unsweetened cocoa powder which I immediately associated with Mexican mole.  She uses beef broth and decreases the cocoa just a tad.  She’s also made the chili with squash instead of beans and I bet the rich cocoa goes well with the sweet squash, but I’ll stick with the beans today because Ken is not a squash lover.

The recipe is from Epicurious; you can get it here.  There’s nothing exotic in the ingredient list; I had everything on hand except the ground turkey.  (It’s probably a meat I should start keeping in the freezer in keeping with our healthier lifestyle).  I was a little hesitant about the amount of chili powder (1/4 c), because of Kurt’s decreased tolerance for anything too spicy, but I decided to use the full amount.  If it was too hot, I’d adjust the next time around, as I’m sure this will become part of my “lighter” recipe repertoire.

The goods:

All pantry items, except for the ground turkey

All pantry items, except for the ground turkey

I chopped and measured everything as I’ve been fairly sloppy in cooking lately and am consequently left with a mess in my kitchen:

Back to my mise en place

Back to my mise en place

And here’s how it’s done:

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onions.

Start of the saute...

Start of the saute…

When they’re brown like this,

End of the saute-- onions are brown (flavor!)

End of the saute– onions are brown (flavor!)

Add the cumin and oregano and stir to mix:

So aromatic when the cumin hits the hot pot!

So aromatic when the cumin hits the hot pot!

Add the turkey, break it up with a spoon, then

Break it up with a spoon

Break it up with a spoon

cook til it’s no longer pink.

Ready for the next dose of flavor...

Ready for the next dose of flavor…

Add the other seasonings (chili powder, cocoa, salt, cinnamon and bay leaves),

Don't those spices look pretty?

Don’t those spices look pretty?

and stir again.

Don't worry if the spices clump up, just stir them around to distribute

Don’t worry if the spices clump up, just stir them around to distribute

Add the liquids; first the tomato sauce and tomatoes,

Use your spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom or sides of the pot

Use your spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom or sides of the pot

then the broth.

At this point, the stew is quite thin

At this point, the stew is quite thin

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let it simmer away, uncovered, for 45 minutes.  Stir every now and then so nothing gets stuck to the bottom of the pot.  After 45 minutes, the chili looks like this:

Liquid has thickened after 45 minutes

Liquid has thickened after 45 minutes

Add the beans,

Don't forget to rinse the beans before adding them!

Don’t forget to rinse the beans before adding them!

and let them heat through, simmering about 10 minutes.

Chowtime!

Chowtime!

Serve with whatever condiments you like with chili.  I think we’ll do a little cheese, sliced scallions and yogurt/sour cream.

I used Greek yogurt; Kurt used sour cream. The yogurt has half the calories of the sour cream!

Afterthoughts:

We LOVED this new chili.  Using the turkey instead of ground beef was similar to the substitution I made with the Italian wedding soup.  As Kurt said, the ground turkey has the same texture, so you don’t miss the fact it’s not beef.  The amount of chili powder was fine for Kurt; in fact, this chili was milder than others I’ve made, e.g., white chicken chili.  The one thing I will change next time is the amount of salt; one and a half teaspoons is too much for me and Kurt.  I’ll probably add half the salt in the beginning and adjust as the chili simmers.

Thanks, Andrea, for another lighter-yet-yummy addition to our family dinner menu!

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Family, Food, Friends, Main Dishes

2 responses to “First at Bat: Andrea’s Turkey Chili

  1. Andrea

    Glad you liked it!! Happy New Year!

What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s