Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Spicy Turkey Chili

As the weather gets colder, I get an ache in my bones for soup. One of the best things about this meal is it is ideal for The Apartment Kitchen. One big pot is all you need to be able to make any soup or stew. And not much sounds more warm and comforting to me than a deliciously hot, spicy chili.

So one particularly cold day here in Hyde Park, I headed to the grocery store and picked up all the ingredients for my perfect chili, which includes lots of great toppings and of course some cold beer. I use ground turkey, because I love the taste and flavor and it's much healthier. I also like to take a slightly Tex-Mex approach to my chili, topping it with good cheese, jalapenos, green onions, and some lime for acidity. And, as is typical with one-pot dishes it's incredibly easy and super cheap.

Spicy Turkey Chili

Served 2 plus leftovers
Leftover Potential: reheats perfectly, but keeping all the condiments makes it more difficult to re-assemble, provided 3 more meals after initial dinner.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, finely minced
1 pound ground turkey
1 large or two small cans diced or crushed tomatoes*
1 can corn
1 can black beans
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 pinch cinnamon
3 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

green onions, chopped, for garnish
cheddar cheese, grated, for garnish
lime segments, for garnish
pickled jalapenos, for garnish

1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sweat until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.
2. Add the turkey, using a rubber spatula to break up pieces while it cooks. Cook until cooked through and brown.
3. Add the tomatoes, corn, and black beans. Reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer until whole soup is heated.
4. Begin adding spices, tasting the chili along the way to determine if it needs more spices/salt, etc. Reduce heat to low and hold while garnishes are prepared.
5. Chop green onions, grate cheese, if necessary, and cut some segments of lime. Set these ingredients on the table along with the jalapenos to allow diners to top their chili as they wish.
6. Serve the chili in warm bowls with a cold beer. Keep the leftovers in the fridge until you need to be warmed up again.

* This makes a very meaty chili, if you prefer a soupier product, you might want to add an additional 15 oz. can of tomatoes.


  1. Dear Erin,

    I love this blog!

    Any chance I'll see you in Lawrence over the winter this year?

    Andy F

  2. Ah, two tempting recipes right off the bat, and all the comfort of a cozy kitchen put in to words. But do you have any tips on opening up those stubborn squash? I always wish for an ax, but there must be an easier way.