Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Best Turkey Chili

Do your kids like to help cook? For a while, my guys were very into baking, but hadn't shown all that much interest in helping cook savory dishes. But recently they've both been popping around the kitchen asking if they can help. And, to be honest, since I'm not at all concerned with having perfect mise en place, they've actually been quite helpful getting everything prepped. I have a great set of nylon knives, which work on most veggies, so they've become my prep experts.

Somewhat unrelatedly, Kane has become obsessed with chili lately. He's not a big soup guy, so when Cam and I search out grilled cheese + tomato soup (which is often), he looks to make sure there is chili available for him. So I thought it would be fun to have them help me with one of my favorite chilis that my mom makes (a vegetarian chili from Better Homes + Garden circa 1997, which I've doctored with turkey). I'm a big fan of hearty chili full of lots of "stuff," which is 100% this recipe. That also means there was lots of "stuff" for the kids to chop and add to the big pot, including onions that necessitated homemade "onion goggles." There are a lot of ingredients, but it's very straightforward to make -- a perfect recipe for kids, in my opinion.

Despite his enthusiasm for cooking the chili, at dinner time, Kane said "there's too many vegetables in here!" To which I said, "I know! You cut all of them." He picked out his favorites, which was easy to do since the kids dicing and mincing skills are still in progress and the veggies were on the bigger side. If you're looking for an easy, hearty recipe for the cold months coming up, give this one a try!

The Best Turkey Chili 
(adapted from Better Homes + Garden)

- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
- 1 1/2 cups chopped green sweet pepper
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced 
- 2 lbs ground turkey
- 2, 28 ounce cans tomatoes, cut up
- 3, 15-16 ounce cans beans (kidney, black, northern, pinto, and/or garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 
- 3-4 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp sugar 
- 1 1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper 
- 1/4 tsp bottled hot pepper sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1, 12 ounce can beer
- 3/4 cup cashew nuts (optional and exclude as appropriate for nut allergies)
- 1 cup shredded Swiss, mozzarella, or cheddar cheese

1. In a 4- or 6-quar pot, heat oil. Add celery, sweet pepper, onion and garlic. Cover and cook over medium heat about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. 

2. Add ground turkey and cook until meat is browned. 

3. Stir in undrained tomatoes, drained and rinsed beans, raisins, vinegar, chili powder, sugar, basil, oregano, cumin, allspice, salt, black pepper, hot pepper sauce, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours. 

4. Stir in beer and return to boiling. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes more or until desired consistency. Discard bay leaf. Stir in cashews (if using) and sprinkle cheese over each serving. 

I also find it fun to put out a "toppings bar" for the kids. I added guacamole, green onions, and a dollop of sour cream to mine. 

1 comment:

Darcy said...

This looks yummy. I love that Cammie is wearing a ball gown and Kane is wearing goggles.