This is my personal recipe for smoky chipotle turkey chili and it is exceptional! This makes a 6 qt pot full of chili, so be prepared to freeze leftovers and use for future meals as it freezes beautifully, and tastes just as good as the day you made it. I have grown to prefer ground turkey instead of ground beef in chili, and highly recommend that you use dark meat ground turkey as it gives more flavor and is not as dry. The quality of your ingredients make it shine, so make sure they are quality fresh all-natural/organic brands, if possible. Deseeding the smoked chipotle peppers takes some of the heat away, while still adding depth. And don’t worry about draining the beans or the meat. There is very little juice remaining from either, so I just dump and go.
2 pounds of fresh ground dark meat turkey
2 15-oz cans of red kidney beans
2 28-oz size cans of tomatoe puree
1 28-oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can of smoked chipotle en adobo sauce (use only 3-4 chipotle peppers out of the can, sliced, de-seeded, and chopped). They are small, but really pack a spicy punch!
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 medium sized bellpepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 tablespoons of red chili powder (I like Spice Island brand)
2 tablespoons of ground cumin
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
2 tablespoons of smoked ground paprika (can use regular paprika if you have it)
2 tablespoons of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of onion powder
1 tspn of sea salt, or Jane’s crazy mixed up salt (I love that stuff)
1 tspn ground black pepper
1 tbspn of olive oil
1 tspn of Colgin’s liquid hickory smoke (optional, can leave off if you do not have it)
Heat 1 tbspn of olive oil in a 6 qt dutch oven pot with lid on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Add ground turkey to pot, and season with a little salt and pepper. Saute ground turkey, letting sear a little on one side to get a little carmelization, breaking up the turkey into crumbled pieces with a wooden spoon as it cooks, for about 6 minutes or so, until it is done. Add the chopped onions, bellpepper, and garlic to the pot, and saute together with the meat for another 5 minutes, just until the onions start to get translucent. Next, add the cans of kidney beans, tomato puree, diced tomatoes, chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, smoked chipotle peppers, and the liquid smoke (optional). Spoon out 2 tablespoons of the adobe sauce from the canned smoked chipotle peppers and add to the pot as well, stirring well to incorporate all of the ingredients and seasonings. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and let simmer on stove covered with lid for about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally from the bottom to prevent sticking and a good incorporation of flavors. Halfway through the cooking time, taste the chili and add more seasonings to your liking, as everyone’s taste is different on how spicy or how seasoned they like their chili. Be careful not to over-salt, as the canned ingredients have some sodium already in them, and the flavors tends to concentrate the more it simmers down. Serve hot with your favorite cracker or cornbread muffins. Enjoy!
Tips: I love to pour up my serving of chili in a bowl, and top with shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and fresh chopped chives or scallions. Or for another main meal dish in the week, serve on top of a baked potatoe with sour cream, cheddar cheese, bacon bits, chives, and fresh chopped tomatoes, if you like. And how can we forget chili dogs – just grill or roast your hotdogs, serve up in a bun, and spoon chili on top. That along with some creamy cole slaw and oven fried potato wedges would be stellar!