Pequeña Turkey and Bean Chili


1 T olive oil
1 lb ground turkey, lean (not extra lean)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper
1 red jalapeno or serrano, deseeded and sliced
1 1/4 T Gebhardt Chili Powder
1 t dried garlic granules
1 1/4 t ground cumin
1/4 t dried Mexican oregano
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/8 t chipotle chili powder, optional
1 1/2 T all-purpose flour
1/ 1/2 T tomato paste
1/4 cup roasted hot Hatch chiles, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 – 2 cup chicken stock
1 (15 oz) cans beans, drained and rinsed – pinto, great northern, kidney, small red – use your favorite

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

Spoon Mage™ Note:

Why lean and not extra lean? Here we want the more flavorful turkey and that means lean. Extra lean is for when you want texture in dishes that have both. Truly.

For extra smoky goodness, chop up a nice smoked slice of meaty ham – or two and brown before turkey.

Instead of adding cilantro to the pot as it cooks, I added Mexican oregano. Delicious. Give it a try – do NOT use Mediterranean oregano. Different flavors altogether.

15 oz of any cooked or canned already cooked bean really does work here. Sometimes I add two cans of different kinds of beans. It’s pretty and tasty – and can extend this to 6 large servings.


Add oil to a large pot and set over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, brown bacon if using, then add turkey and cook until it is no longer pink. Drain a little of the fat until there is only about 2 T of turkey juices in the pan.

Add onion and bell pepper. Stir until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes.

Add the jalapeno and stir for 1 minute.

Reduce heat to medium and add the mixture of chili powder, garlic, cumin, ground black pepper, Mexican oregano, and chipotle (if using). Stir until incorporated – and then for one more minute.

Stir in the flour until it is thoroughly incorporated, do not go answer the phone. Flour can burn and we just want it to become one with the turkey.

Then add the tomato paste. Stir constantly for 2 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. Also this is not a good time to check email.

Add the Hatch chiles.

Add 1 cup of the stock. Stir well.

Add the drained and rinsed beans.

Stir in more stock if it is too thick, adding a little at a time, to get the consistency you prefer. In the chili pictured above, I used 1 1/2 cups of stock. Adding more will get you a soupier consistency.

You can always add more to thin the chili, but it is very difficult to remove it. Chili should be thick.

Simmer, covered, 20 minutes or so, taste, and adjust the seasonings. Taste it again now. If you are a salter you will probably want to add a few twists of the salt grinder. If you do it here, it will have time to meld with the chili.

Simmer, covered, another 15 minutes minimum.

Taste again. If it’s not hot enough add more chipotle or more hot Hatch chiles. If you want more Gebhardt or cumin, go for it. This is where you make it yours.

Now keep it covered on the stove on the lowest heat until dinner. Stir it infrequently.

Serve with cornbread, shredded Mexican cheese, jalapenos, cilantro, and avocado – or your favorite chili topping.

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