As much as I love chili, it does feel like a challenge to make it so that it is not filled with sodium and saturated fats. This very creative interpretation of turkey chili is inspired by the wide variety of produce you can find around La Jolla, California.
Be creative, be healthy with turkey chili!
Thanks go to Jamie L., who knows her way around the chili pepper pods!
First off, with a recipe this vast, you’ll need a large 6.5-quart pot (Jamie loves her red Kirkland enameled cast iron pot!), filled to about 80% of its capacity using ingredients listed here (keep scrolling!):
- 1.25 lb of Jennie-O lean ground turkey
- 1.25 lb of Jennie-O lean Italian seasoned ground turkey
- 7 strips of center-cut bacon
- 2 large red bell peppers
- 2 large yellow bell peppers
- 2 pasilla chiles
- 2 poblano chiles
- 2 Anaheim chiles
- 5 jalapenos
- 2 habaneros
- 1 can of chipotle chili in adobo sauce (a small can)
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 heads of garlic
- 2 cans of fire-roasted tomatoes, crushed
- 1 can of San Marzano tomato, crushed
- ½ cup of tomato paste
- ½ bottle of lager beer (I used Shock Top wheat lager)
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- 1 can of black beans
- 1 can of cannellini white beans
- Chili powder, Pimenton de la Vera, cumin, coriander and cayenne
- Pollen Ranch “Big Devil” seasoning mix (this thing rocks)
- 2 ears of sweet corn
- 1 shallot
- 5 radishes
- 2 limes
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 1 bunch of chives
- Lite sour cream for garnish
- Good quality med-sharp cheddar cheese, use as topping sparingly
- 1 loaf of artisan bread w/ hard crust
Cut stems off of all peppers (except habaneros), halve and remove seeds and ribs.
Toss with olive oil, Kosher salt and pepper.
Lay them out on a large baking sheet w/ skin side up (flat side down).
Halve 2 heads of garlic horizontally, put them in aluminum foil, cover with olive oil and fold the foil into a pouch.
Roast peppers and garlic in the oven (400 degrees) until skins on peppers are charred.
Garlic can sit in the oven a bit longer until done (you can usually smell them when well-roasted).
Throw peppers in a big bowl, cover w/ towel and let sit for 15-20 minutes.
Be sure to scrape off the drippings and burnt pieces from the baking sheet and add to the bowl.
Once cooled, remove the skins (I put the peppers on the cutting board, skin side down, and gently scrape off the flesh).
Chop peppers into small pieces.
Remove roasted garlic flesh from skin (either squeeze them out or scoop out using a small spoon).
Add roasted garlic to chopped peppers and combine well (garlic should not be in chunks).
Cut bacon strips into small pieces.
Chop habanero peppers (remove ribs and seeds), onion and remaining 1 head of garlic into small pieces.
Cook bacon until very crisp.
Remove bacon pieces from pot and drain on paper towel.
Cook onion in bacon fat until caramelized.
Add garlic and cook until golden brown.
Add ground turkey and season with salt, pepper and Big Devil (use judiciously to watch sodium).
Break turkey meat into chunks (not too small) and cook until browned.
Add bacon, habanero peppers, roasted peppers and roasted garlic and combine well w/ cooked meat.
Add 1-1.5 tsp of chili powder, Pimenton de la Vera, cumin, coriander and cayenne and thoroughly incorporate w/ rest of the ingredients.
Add chipotle in adobo, canned tomatoes and tomato paste and stir until everything is well combined.
Stir in beer and chicken stock.
Add beans (Drain off the liquid or rinse to reduce sodium) and combine.
Lower heat and bring to rolling boil.
Transfer to oven, cook in 225 degree for 2 hours.
Adjust seasoning as desired. Just beware of too much added sodium…you won’t miss it!
While the chili is being cooked…
Char ears of corn by rolling around in very hot cast iron skillet with a bit of butter.
Remove kernels from corn and put into a large bowl.
Chop shallot into small pieces and add to the bowl.
Chop radishes into small pieces and add to the bowl.
Add chopped chives.
Season with salt, pepper and a little bit of Big Devil, add olive oil, squeeze in lime juice and combine well and let sit.
Chop cilantro and grate small amount of cheese.
Slice bread, rub with a cut garlic clove, brush on olive oil and grill (be sure to make the cool-looking grilled hash mark!).
Serve and eat!
Add serving of chili to an earthen bowl (I have Japanese earthen bowls which hold heat well and keep food warm). Add a dollop of lite sour cream, cilantro and cheese. Grind a little pepper and sprinkle a tiny amount of Big Devil seasoning, if desired.
Serve corn & radish salsa and grilled bread on the side. Jamie says that she adds the salsa to top of the chili and scoops up everything with the bread!
Good luck with your next chili-making adventure!