Turkey and White Bean Chili


1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 sweet red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
20 oz ground turkey, lean
20 oz ground turkey, extra lean
1 T plus 1 t garlic, minced
2 T plus 1/2 T Gebhardt Chili Powder
2 3/4 t ground cumin
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/4 t chipotle chili powder (omit if you are a spice wimp and increase if you love it hot)
3 T all-purpose flour
3 T tomato paste
1 (4 oz) can Hatch chilis (hot or mild as you prefer)
3 C low sodium chicken stock
3 (15 oz) cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
2 T cilantro, rinsed, dried and chopped

Optional garnish: more chopped cilantro, green onions, avocado, tomatoes, and jalapenos

Spoon Mage™ Note:

Chili is a very personal thing. Many of the Stetson wearing folks where I live would never call this recipe chili. I have always been a rebel.

Play with the dish to make it yours. Go ahead, be rebellious!

Change the beans to suit you. Try a mix of beans. For colorful chili, we love to use one can of Great Northern, one of pinto, and one can of black beans.

Increase the turkey and reduce the beans or even eliminate the beans altogether and make some Texan happier – or change the turkey to hamburger.

Edit re the turkey: the ingredient list was written at a time when I could find those great 20 oz packages of ground turkey. I have not found them in a great long time. So, just remember that this is, in total – 2 1/2 pounds of meat. You can also just make it with 2 pounds of meat (1 pound packages are easy to find), reduce the seasonings just a little bit, and be more careful when adding the stock so you don’t overdo and end up with chili soup. Or use 3 pounds of meat and increase the seasonings a tad.

The amount of seasonings in this recipe is the minimum required – you get to tweak it to suit!

Always add the stock a bit at a time until the liquid just about reaches the top of the turkey.

Instead of chipotle, sub in cayenne or the only slightly spicy guajillo (available via Paul Prudhomme’s wonderful website). Jalapenos and serranos are great additions. Put them in when you add the Hatch peppers.

Cilantro is one of those flavors people love or hate. Skip it if someone in your family hates it. You can always sprinkle it on your bowl at the table.

Survey – is it chili if you use beans?



with both Great Northern and Pinto beans.

Heat oil over medium high heat in large pot or Dutch oven. Add onion, red pepper. Stir until the onion is softened – about three minutes.

Add turkey and cook until it is no longer pink. Drain until there is only about 1/4 cup of turkey juices in the pan.

Reduce heat to medium and add the minced garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes

Combine the chili powder, cumin, ground black pepper, and chipotle. Add to the pot, stirring until incorporated – and then for one more minute.

Stir in the flour until it is thoroughly incorporated.

Then add the tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. This bit of cooking time helps cook off the raw aspect of the flour and is critical for the flavors of the paste to develop. Don’t skip it. No rebels here.

Add the Hatch peppers.

Add 1-2 cups of the stock. Stir well.

Add the drained and rinsed beans.

Stir in more stock, adding 1/2-1 cup at a time, to get the consistency you prefer – maximum will be about 3 cups. You can always add more to thin the chili, but it is very difficult to remove it. Chili should be thick – you are not making soup, but it would be delicious that way and you can always pretend that is what you meant to do.

Simmer 20 minutes or so, taste, and adjust the seasonings. Play with the flavors! Cover the pot if the consistency is already perfect, leave the lid off if you were over generous with the stock.

Continue to cook for anywhere from an extra 10 minutes to a few hours (chili is so nice and flexible!). Just let it go, stirring every now and then until dinner. Cover with a lid to prevent too much evaporation.

Right before serving, stir in 2 tablespoons of cilantro. Taste. If you are a salter you will probably want to add a few twists of the salt grinder.

Serve with cornbread and your favorite garnishes.

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