Turkey Chili

Well, hello. Sorry it's been so long since I last posted a recipe. This semester has just been exhausting. Plus, I've been doing a lot of bread lately, using other people's recipes. I've been two seconds short of bread obsession. Coupled with the bread thing, I finally tugged a turkey out of the freezer, as part of my mission to use up a considerable amount of the frozen food storage I've got. So of course we ate roasted turkey, after which I intended to make turkey pho but never got around to it... well, in truth, I intended to make a lot of things that I never got around to with the leftovers. I did make a turkey pizza (this was awesome, by the way. Just get/make pizza crust, do a quick sauce, cheese, sliced shallot, sliced garlic, diced bell pepper and 1/2" chunks of dark turkey meat. Then bake), and I did make turkey chili.

Although I believe I actually prefer the more traditional beef chili, this is a great substitute if you're looking to reduce the fat in your diet, or just don't eat red meat. Additionally, this is ideal for the crock pot. It took me longer to get the rich chili earthiness from this batch than beef normally does, so if the earthy flavour is really important to you, cook it up to three days in the crock pot. I hope you enjoy!

2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper
2 large yellow onions, diced
1 1/2 green bell peppers, diced
2 large tomatillos, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped celery
juice of one lime

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 14-ounce can corn kernels
6-8 cups turkey stock
2 pounds roasted turkey, preferably dark meat (though I used both, I found the dark held up better), cut into 1/2"-1" cubes (alternately, use raw meat and sear it before cooking the veggies)
2 cups cooked black beans

1/2-1 cup chili powder
large pinch sugar (optional)
1-2 tablespoons honey (I used apricot honey)
1 anaheim pepper
1 jalepeno
other chiles (optional)

Heat oil in pan, then add onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomatillo, celery, salt, pepper and juice of the lime. Cook down over low heat until the onions are translucent and the greens are less bright coloured. Pour all of this into your crock pot, stirring in all the remaining ingredients except the chili powder, sugar and chiles. Let it all cook for a half hour, then add in enough chili powder to give it a deep, rich red colour. Cook another half hour and taste. If it's bitter, use the sugar and/or the honey. If it's not, feel free to leave it be, or to sweeten it, depending on your preferences. Cook another half hour to an hour.

While the base is cooking, cut up all your chiles, arranging them in ascending order of heat. Each time you add a chile, cook the chili for 30 minutes to an hour before adding the next chile. Once you've added the last chile, cook at least another hour, or up to another couple days.


- Replace some of the turkey stock with beer. I really like Chimay Cinq Cents or Pacifico for chili.
- Add in a little extra cumin, coriander, and/or some seasoned salt. Feel free to experiment with the seasonings. This is the simplest chili (in terms of number of ingredients) I can ever recall having made, but you should feel free to indulge in experimentation to find the spice blend that you enjoy best.
- Add in a little more honey to sweeten it more (somewhat like a northern style chili) without it tasting sugary.
- If it's not thickening up well, even after you've cooked the chili without its lid, mix some water and corn flour together into a barely pour-able paste, then stir that into the chili. After a little while, it will nicely thicken it up and give it an extra bit of flavour.
- Add in fresh tomatoes.
- A little extra lime never really hurt anyone.
- Suggestion from D: blend a can of chipotle in adobo sauce and add it in a bit at a time to the chili to enhance the flavour.


  1. I like this recipe a lot and I like the variations you suggested, yum!

  2. Thanks, Mag! It keeps well, too, so we've munched on it for the entire week without any problems!


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