Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Recipes For People Who Can't Cook: Turkey Chili

This recipe is my jam.  It is far and away the most-requested meal in our household-- in fact, I made it just last night.  It was such a perfect way to combat the imminent Chicago winter that I knew I had to share.  Plus, it is the first recipe I mastered so I am positive that even the most inept cook can handle it.  

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
1/4 cup ground chili
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes in juice
3 cups beef broth
8 oz. can tomato sauce
3 15 oz. cans chickpeas

1. Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute until tender and nearly translucent, about 5 mins.  Add cumin and oregano, stir for 1 min.
2.  Increase the heat to medium high and add the turkey.  Cook, stirring frequently, until no longer pink.  Stir in chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt, and cinnamon.
3. Add tomatoes with juice, beef broth, and tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 mins., stirring occasionally.  Add beans, and simmer for about 10 mins.  Discard bay leaves.

Notes: I like to replace at least one can of chickpeas with butter beans, just for variety-- and any white bean will work.  No need to wait an hour to put in the beans.  I find that it makes no difference to put them in from the get-go.  Also, I try to cook this longer than the hour advised.  Like all chili recipes, it just keeps getting better.  I love this topped with avocado slices or even feta cheese (then again, I think feta goes on everything).  

Added bonus: while I generally don't pay attention to the calorie counts of food I cook at home (I am a firm believer in Michael Pollan's rule #39: you can eat anything you want as long as you cook it at home), I was pretty excited to find out that this is only 208 calories a serving.

On the other hand, I consider this a "snack size," so maybe I shouldn't be patting myself on the back for my healthy habits just yet.  Not to mention, I usually wash it down with a Southern Tier 2x IPA.  

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