Turkey Chili

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Looking for a hearty, tummy-warming meal that the whole family will love? This turkey chili from Gourmet Magazine is perfect.


I am not a Type A personality. If you saw my desk right now, you’d agree. Everything does not need to be in its place. Of course, having a five year-old might have a little to do with it, but I don’t use that as an excuse. Everything really doesn’t have to be in its place. Heck, not everything even has a place.

In the kitchen, however, some Type A bleeds through. I can’t stand cluttered counters. When I’m cooking or baking, the sink must be empty (so I can fill it). Family members; not allowed in my space. At all.

Most of all, I hate; hate; hate trying to find something in the fridge that stays elusively behind other items. I hate having to remove containers and jars to get to what I need. I hate it when big items fall on my toes while I’m moving things around. I hate it when lidded containers fall out, open and find a way to splatter everything from the floor to the light fixtures in the ceiling.

Hence, I’m not fond of leftovers. They clutter and confuse. They get pushed to the back where, months later, they’re rediscovered and a game of “what was that?” is played.

Thanksgiving meals breed leftovers. There are more containers that need storage than there were dishes on the table. How does that happen?

The only way around this quandary is to use up leftovers as quickly as possible. Since turkeys only come in behemoth and gargantuan sizes, they’re the biggest culprit. They also need to be changed-up a bit since there’s always so much left. Who can eat straight turkey eight days in a row without going over the edge?

Not I.

The Process
This little gem is tucked in the table of contents of all places. That alone is a reason enough to read any magazine from cover to cover.

This starts out like many chili recipes; bell peppers and onion sauteed together. Add the various chili(e) powders, some brown sugar and cook a bit more (until your eyes water when you put your face over the pot and take a deep sniff).

Tomatoes come next, then the beans, water and seasoning. The beans, in this case, are black, not kidney. I’m a fan of black beans. I wasn’t before, but in the two years that I’ve been going through magazines, I’ve grown to admire their versatility and enjoy their flavor.

Simmer, simmer, simmer. for fifteen minutes. In my kitchen, when I’ve made food like this, I tend to make it early, cover the pot and refrigerate it for a few hours (if not overnight). It’s the kind of dish that gets better over time because the different flavors blend together and are all the more rich for the waiting.

Either way you choose to do it, when you’re ready to serve, add the shredded turkey to the hot chili and continue to simmer until it’s heated through. Dollop on some sour cream and add whatever stuff you normally do on top of chili.

The Verdict
Woosh; it was gone. Simple as that. This was good food love. It didn’t include Dudette because there’s a lot of chili and chile powder in here, but Hubby and I laid waste to the pot. It was delicious. I think the brown sugar did a perfect job of cutting the heat just enough but not turning the chili into a too-sweet dish. It’s a great way to use leftovers, but also a fantastic fall dish in general.

What I’d Do Different Next Time
Not a single thing.

Turkey Chili - print this recipe
from Gourmet Magazine, November, 2008

1 large white onion, coarsely chopped
2 bell peppers (any color), cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice
1 (19-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup water
2 cups cooked turkey, cut into 1-inch pieces
ACCOMPANIMENTS: sour cream; sliced avocado; chopped white onion; lime wedges

Cook onion and peppers in oil in a heavy medium pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Add spices and brown sugar and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice, breaking them up with back of a spoon, then add beans, water, and 1 tsp salt and simmer, covered, 15 minutes.

Stir in turkey and let stand, covered, until heated through, 5 minutes.

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