13 December, 2009
Yes, it is true... Southern California does get rain. And this past week was proof of this Sasquatch-like myth. It was not just rainy but cold too. The "chili" weather was quite inspiring this past weekend for some warm comfort food. And during my San Diego Charger game halftime, I ran to the grocery store determined to make a healthier version of this all-American favorite.
This "Touchdown Turkey Chili" will bring a smile to your face and that warm full feeling to your belly. If you have a dog, you'll be taking it for a walk afterwards. Or, conversely, you might end up snoring on the couch for an evening nap. Either way, you'll be more than satisfied and cozy.
Just a note - this recipe includes Sofrito, a Puerto Rican "mirepoix" that requires advanced preparation. If you don't feel like advanced preparation, it's not necessary. But it will make your recipe tastier. Just sayin'...
Here's our Touchdown Turkey Chili recipe:
1 lb Ground Turkey Meat (fresh or frozen)
2 cans Red Kidney Beans
1 small can Tomato Paste
1 can Crushed Tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped jalapeno (1 cup if you want it spicier)
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
6 oz. Beer
3 tablespoons Sofrito (you can find this recipe here)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil (only necessary if you're adding Sofrito)
1 small can Tomato Sauce (only necessary if you're adding Sofrito)
2 tablespoons Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (or more if you want it spicier)
1 teaspoon Powdered Mustard
1 tablespoon ground Black Pepper
1 tablespoon Dry Oregano
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 sprigs fresh Thyme
2 Dry Bay leaves
2 tablespoons brown sugar (add more or less to help temper the spiciness)
Salt to taste
In a large pot over medium heat, brown the defrosted or fresh turkey for about 5 minutes until it is no longer pink. Add the kidney beans, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, chicken broth, beer, chili powder, cayenne pepper, mustard, black pepper, dry oregano, thyme, bay leaves and brown sugar to the cooked turkey. Stir the ingredients so that they are evenly distributed.
If you are adding Sofrito, follow these steps:
In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the Sofrito to the heated oil. Fry the Sofrito, stirring regularly, for about 3 minutes. Add the can of tomato sauce and stir. Allow the mixture to simmer for a couple minutes over medium heat. Stir in the tomato-sofrito mixture to your pot of simmering chili.
Add salt to taste (I added approximately 3/4 Tablespoon). Cover the chili and cook for one hour over low heat. Before serving, don't forget to remove the sprigs of thyme and the bay leaves.
The result is a hearty, tangy and healthy bowl of chili that is sure to warm your bones and go perfect with Sunday football and beer. Add a little cheddar cheese, a small dollop of sour cream and some chopped green onions for color and one last dash of fresh flavor.
If you're like me, after a long week of work and a lazy weekend of rainy or cold weather, you take shortcuts in the kitchen where you can. Save yourself a lot of trouble and buy a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix for easy and delicious corn bread muffins to go with your delicious turkey chili.
The great characteristic of this chili is the low fat and high fiber elements, without sacrificing any taste. If you've succeeded with your chili, you'll be needing that nice walk in the cool autumn air to help your stomach digest all that goodness. Just let me know if you'd like to borrow my dog for the trip.
Happy Holidays (and almost wintery weather)!!