Thursday, January 17, 2013

Turkey Chili For Beef Chili Lovers

My husband loves beef.   In the winter when the weather is cold and dreary, we love a steamy bowl of chili choke full of chunks of beefy goodness topped with cheese and sour cream.  But sometimes it's fun to shake things up a bit.  My challenge:  make a pot of turkey chili that even MY husband would love.  It would need to have some kick to it, but not so much that you couldn't add a little Tabasco if you wanted to at the table.  I also had to make it with ingredients I had in the house.  Its, cold and dreary out, remember, and I am not driving back to town for anything.

If I had known it would turn out so good, I would have taken process pictures.  I was so pleased with how rich and flavorful it was.  And, ladies and gentlemen, it passed for beef chili with my husband.  He was surprised when I told him it was turkey.  Yahoo!  I would say mission accomplished.

Now my confession.  These are photos of the leftover chili I ate two days after making the chili.  When I served it for dinner I had a side of cornbread that was a perfect addition, but I didn't think to take pictures.  I will say it tasted just as good two days later and the zucchini was not mushy at all.

Turkey Chili
16 ounce package ground turkey
2+ Tbsp vegetable oil
1-1.25 ounce package taco seasoning
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp oregano
1 bottle Shiner Bock
3 Tbs tomato paste
2-14.5 ounce can Diced Chili Style Tomatoes, undrained
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 very large zucchini or 2 medium, chopped

In a large stockpot, cook turkey in 1 Tbsp oil, stirring to break up large pieces.  Add the taco seasoning, coriander and oregano; stir to coat meat.  Spoon in the tomato paste and stir constantly until the meat is coated and takes on a deep red color.  Then add 1/2 the beer and simmer, stirring occasionally  until the beer is absorbed by the meat.  Add the remaining beer and tomatoes and continue to simmer while readying the vegetables.

In a separate pan, saute bell pepper and onion in 1 Tbsp oil until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more, then add the vegetables to the meat and tomatoes.  Add a little more oil if needed to the pan and cook the zucchini chunks for about 5 minutes, stirring to cook on all sides.  Add the cooked zucchini to the chili and stir to combine.

Let the pot simmer uncovered for 15 more minutes and serve hot in bowls.  Top with cheese and sour cream if you like.

Love this chili, and I am so glad I remembered to write down what I did.  I know the zucchini makes it nontraditional, but what the heck.  It adds a vegetable and it tastes great.  A handful of frozen corn would be nice, or a can of white beans.