In honor of Turkey Day, last Friday I made a batch of my Turkey Chili. I love to make and eat chili, and I do frequently try others’ chili recipes. However, I have been perfecting both my own beef and turkey chili recipes over the years, and since it was the weekend of Thanksgiving, I decided to go with turkey. I also made some cornbread to go with it, but it didn’t turn out that great, so I won’t post that recipe. Here is my turkey chili recipe, enjoy!
1 package turkey kielbasa, chopped
1 pound ground turkey (get lean, not extra-lean;< some packages say 93/7 or 99/1 – get the 93/7)
1 red onion, chopped, 1 tbs reserved for garnish if desired
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 dried ancho chiles, soaked in boiling water until softened
1 1/2 tsp habanero mash, or 1 habanero chile, seeded and minced
3 tbs ground cumin
2 tbs ground coriander
Half a bottle of beer
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 (28 ounce) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) box of frozen corn kernels
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, well drained
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Preheat a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Drizzle in a touch of olive oil. Add the kielbasa and saute until browned and crispy, but not burnt. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the ground turkey to the same skillet. Crumble with a spoon until no longer pink. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes until softened. Next, add the habanero, ground cumin and coriander, and stir together. Deglaze the pan with the beer, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
Once the anchos have softened, remove them from their liquid, but don’t discard the liquid. Remove the stems and seeds, and tear into pieces. Add them to a food processor with just enough liquid to moisten, so they’ll puree. Once pureed, pour them into the chili. Also add the liquid smoke and the Worcestershire sauce. Stir in the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper at this point.
Get out your slow cooker. Add the corn and beans. Turn it on to low. Now add the chili and stir to combine. Let it go on low for a couple of hours at least, or up to all day. Stir occasionally. If you don’t have a slow cooker, use a large stockpot or Dutch oven and keep the burner on low.
Serve with whatever garnishes you like best: chopped raw onion, thinly sliced raw jalapeño (my favorite!), shredded cheese, chopped scallions or chives, minced cilantro, sour cream…