This winter I have been obsessed with chili. So much so, in fact, that I requested it as my birthday meal from Tim. There are about as many ways to make chili as there are people out there who eat chili. I don’t think I’ve ever made it the same way twice. This year, I’ve been using roughly the same spice mixture from a Rachael Ray recipe, but I’ve used different meats, veggies, beans, and liquids. The last time I made it, I started the party with a couple of slices of smokey bacon, and then to offset that, I used 97% lean ground turkey. I always like a bell pepper in my chili, and I just use whatever color I happen to have in my fridge that day. I control the level of spiciness by altering how many jalapeños I use. I love beans, so I use two cans and mix up which kinds. Next time I’m going to get really crazy and use garbanzo beans! And my secret ingredient that just makes it oh so yummy – a touch of sugar. It just rounds out the acidity from the tomatoes. So I’m going to give you my basic framework today, but feel free to use your imagination and switch things up to your taste.
I love this chili! It’s really hearty, which is great because I like lots of “stuff” in my chili. There are different levels of flavors in the broth with the tomatoes, beer, and beef broth. All of the spices mix so well together but none stands out as being overwhelming. When you read the list of spices, you might find some of them strange for a chili recipe, but they’re pretty standard for a Cincinnati style chili, and they add so much depth of flavor. Trust me, it’s so flavorful and delicious! Perfect for game day!
Turkey Bacon Chili
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 2 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 package (1.25 lbs) 97% fat free ground turkey
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3-4 tablespoons ancho chile powder or chili powder blend (to your taste)
- 2-3 tablespoons cumin (to your taste)
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, lightly crushed in palm
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped (red or whatever color you like)
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1/4 cups tomato paste
- 2 cups beef stock, plus extra for reheat
- 1 beer (I like to use a wheat beer)
- One 32-ounce can fire roasted crushed or diced tomatoes
- One 14-ounce can light kidney beans, drained
- One 14-ounce can dark kidney beans, drained
- One 14-ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until almost crisp, about 5-6 minutes. Add the turkey and brown well. Add the Worcestershire, chile powder, cocoa powder, paprika, oregano, allspice, cinnamon, garlic, jalapeño, onions, and cloves. Cook until the onions are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir a minute, and then add the stock, beer, tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce, and sugar. Bring to a bubble, and then reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper. The longer it sets, the better it gets!
Additional toppings (or bottomings?!) could include cooked spaghetti, cheese, chopped onion, parsley or cilantro, pickled jalapeño slices, oyster crackers, etc.