I haven't been writing much in the "blogosphere" (I really hate that word) lately because I signed up to write a 50,o00 word "novel" (and I use the word loosely, very very loosely) in one month with NaNoWriMo. So far, it's week 2 and I have 7,000 words. Not enough, obviously. I should have at least 12,000 if I ever hope to finish. The good news is that I work well under pressure. The good news for my family is that because I have been fairly preoccupied I've been hammering out tried and true recipes - things I don't even have to think about to make for dinner. The good news for YOU, dear readers, is that one of those recipes is turkey chili which I made a couple weeks ago to feed some Halloween revelers, and which I made recently for my sister and her kids, all of whom are suffering from the dreaded H1N1. (is it just me, or does H1N1 remind anyone else of the word heinie?- is that how you even spell heinie? Smith thinks its hynie -- my spell check has no idea - ok, clearly I am sleep deprived. This is what attempting to write a novel in 30 days does to you. Ok. Moving on.)
So, turkey chili. Very easy, very delicious, and my favorite kind of recipe because you just dump into it all sorts of things you have hanging about your refrigerator. I made it two slightly different ways: in one I used a link of turkey kielbasa and in the other, because Whole Foods was out of turkey kielbasa, I used this Tuscan sausage they made. I liked the kielbasa better.
Serves 4-6 - (easily doubled)
3 TLBSP of olive oil
1 onion diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 carrot diced
1 or 2 cloves of garlic either pressed or sliced (you decide!)
1 -2 TLBSP of taco seasoning (either buy a packet or make your own - click here for my recipe)
1/4 lb of ground dark meat or thigh meat turkey (* see note below)
1/4 lb of ground white meat or breast turkey
1 or 2 links of turkey kielbasa or any other type of turkey sausage you think would work (some sliced chrorizo would be awesome - though too spicy for my kids)
1 can of beans drained and rinsed - I like black beans, pinto, or white beans
1 14ounce can of whole tomatoes
1TLBSP of tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste throughout
Cilantro or parsley, coarsely chopped (optional)
sour cream (optional)
Heat a dutch oven over medium high flame and swirl in 2 TLBS of olive oil then add onions. Cook onions until almost translucent, add celery and carrots and let cook for a bit - until they soften some (10 min or so) stirring so they don't burn or stick. Sprinkle some of the taco seasoning over everything and cook another minute or so.
Take everything out of dutch oven and reserve, swirl in your last TLBSP of oil then when oil is hot, add all the ground turkey and cook over medium heat. While this is cooking you can either saute the whole sausage in another pan with a little water and oil then slice it when it's browned and add to chili after you add the beans, OR, remove sausage casing and add it to the ground meat RIGHT NOW. Either ways is yummy.
When the turkey is almost cooked (don't cook it completely through or it will be tough later) add the beans, tomatoes with the juices, the tomato paste and the rest of the taco seasoning. Put the vegetables back in the pot. Give it a taste and see if it needs salt and pepper - add to taste. If you sauteed the sausage, add it now.
Let all this simmer down until you like the way it looks. If you want a thicker chili add another can of beans and adjust the seasoning.
* You can also use leftover turkey (THANKSGIVING ALERT!) - just chunk it up and toss it in after the vegetables have cooked a bit - you don't have to remove the vegetables. Add the tomatoes right away. I've also thrown in some baby spinach, or a frozen pack of peas, or some chopped kale or swiss chard which you can saute with the vegetables.
To serve, put it in a bowl with a little sour cream, jalapenos and chopped cilantro sprinkled on top. Or, if you prefer to tell your kids it's a taco, warm some taco shells and plonk the chili in - the kids will eat it up.
This is easy and filling and something even a moron like me who agrees to write a novel in one month (ONE MONTH!) can pull off . I've been a little shouty in the this post, I can't help it, I'm SLEEP DEPRIVED.