spicy turkey chili

April 20, 2010

I have a built-in hatred of rain. I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m British and because we have to put up with it more days of the year than not. And because no-one likes soggy socks. Minneapolis gets so little rain in comparison it is ridiculous. I am not complaining.

April, however, we’ve definitely had to bust out the brollies a few times. And thank goodness really, because we need it. I want green and I want flowers. And I want a farmer’s market full of gorgeousness.

Anyway, thunderstorms and lightning all night make for a tough battle with the snooze button and grey skies and pouring rain make for comfort food cravings. Enter spicy turkey chili – the ultimate one-dish comfort food!

Spicy Turkey Chili
adapted from Food Network


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt, depending on taste
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, coarsely chopped, with 1 tablespoon sauce
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 (12-ounce) Mexican lager-style beer
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomato paste and the chipotle chile and sauce, cooking for 1 minute more. Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the beer and simmer until reduced by about half, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, crushing them through your fingers into the skillet (the fun bit), along with their juices and the beans; bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 10 minutes.

Enjoy in a big bowl with perhaps a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, a dollop of sour cream and if you’re like me, most definitely a lovely glass of red wine or another one of those mexican beers.

This is the third time I’ve made this chili in the last few months and it’s baller. There, I said it. The first time, I foolishly followed the original recipe, despite my gut telling me “NO!” and used a whole tablespoon of salt. It must be a typo because I could barely choke it down.

The second time was more of a success but this time, we really hit the nail on the head. Spicy, filling, healthy, and delicious.

What’s your ultimate one-dish comfort food?

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