Cold days in February call for chili.  Warm sunny days in February also call for chili, especially when we’re celebrating the Olympics.  Our grand opening party was epic.  I also made an epic amount of chili: one “four legged-meat”, one turkey.  Chili is a cheap, warm and yummy way to feed cold party revellers who have been smoking cigars outside.

Surprisingly, I had quite a few leftovers.  (Okay, not surprising at all.  I always make too much food.  It’s a throwback from my childhood – you never know who’s going to stop by hungry!  Jim says I should estimate how much food I’ll need, then divide it by two.  Every time.)  Chili freezes well, I’ll have you know.

On Wednesday night we watched Canada school Russia in the men’s quarter-finals hockey game.  Another big bash.

Jim and Phunt, watching the game nervously.

I pulled the chili out of the freezer and served up… chili dogs.  Who doesn’t love a chili dog?

The recipe below is an approximation.  I usually start my chili from dried beans but I constructed an easier, less time-intensive recipe using canned beans for my friend Mike K., so here it is.  Now you have two versions of turkey/chicken chili (see Bean Day from January 6).  If you want to make Jim’s four-legged version, substitute lean ground beef for the chicken and add chopped mushrooms and red and yellow peppers.  Then add a whole schwack of cayenne pepper just to set your mouth on fire.

Turkey Chipotle Chili

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 large grated carrot
  • 2 lbs lean ground turkey (or chicken)
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 3 Tbsp (or more) chili powder (or more, to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 2 large cans diced tomatoes (add more tomatoes if the sauce calls for it)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can each black beans, romano beans and brown beans (no pork!) (add more beans if you want them or the chili seems to need them)
  • 1 can hominy (or corn niblets if you can’t find hominy)
  • 1 can tomato paste
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a dutch oven.  Add the onions, garlic and celery, and sauté until translucent (5-8 minutes).  Add the carrot and sauté for another 5 minutes (until soft).
  2. Add the turkey and season with salt and pepper.  Sauté until the turkey begins to brown (10 minutes or so).
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin and chipotles.  Mix well.  Add the tomatoes and bay leaves and reduce heat to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally (make sure you really scrape the bottom of the pot so the chili doesn’t burn).  Add chicken broth, water or more tomatoes to thin if necessary.
  4. Add the beans and corn, and check the flavour.  Add more salt, pepper, adobo sauce (from the chipotles), chili powder and/or cumin if the sauce calls for it.
  5. Add the tomato paste, 1 heaping Tbsp at a time, until the sauce has the right flavour and consistency.  Cook for another 20 minutes to 2 hours, on very low heat, to blend the flavours (again, stir it occasionally, and scrape the bottom of the pot well).

* You can add other vegetables or beans if you want.  It’s all about taste!

~ Eva