This turkey chili is hearty and satisfying! It is filled with beans and uses a relatively small amount of extra lean ground turkey breast (with no skin or dark meat mixed in—check the package label) so it is not only luscious but heart-healthy as well. The hint of chipotle and balsamic vinegar give it a little “kick” that is just right! The addition of cornmeal at the very end makes it thick and creamy and gives it a nice Southwestern touch. I serve it with my deliciously moist Corn bread. It is perfect on a cold wintery night –just what the doctor ordered!
Hearty Turkey Chili
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 tsp chili powder
- 3 tsp cumin powder
- 1 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- 1/2 tsp ground chipotle powder
- 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb extra lean ground turkey breast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 28oz can ground tomatoes (no added oil or sugar)
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 4 cups fat free chicken broth
- 1 bottle 12oz of dark beer of your choice
- 2 Tbsp chopped green chilies optional
- 4 large l lb -13 oz cans small red beans, rinsed well and drained
- 3 Tbsp stone ground corn meal
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Heat oil in a large cast iron dutch oven (I like Le Creuset but any heavy bottom deep pan will do) over high heat, add the garlic and onion and sautée for 4-5 minutes.
Add the chili powder, ground cumin, thyme, chipotle, smoked paprika and bay leaves and continue to sautée over medium heat for another 5 minutes.
Add the ground turkey & salt and brown for a few more minutes while stirring constantly so the turkey doesn’t clump.
Add canned ground tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, beer and green chilies (if using), and bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue to simmer for just a few minutes.
Add the drained beans to the pot and stir gently.
Continue to simmer covered for another 25-30 minutes.
Add the stone ground corn meal, one tablespoon at a time, stirring in between each addition so it doesn't clump.
Add the balsamic vinegar and stir.
Turn off the heat and keep covered until ready to serve.
If you'd like it a little creamier, you can take out some of the beans to grind them briefly in a food processor and put them back into the soup, or better yet, you can use a stick hand blender to blend the soup to desired creaminess right in the pot (see below).
I like to let my chili “sit” before I serve it so that all the flavors blend even more together and the texture is nice and thick.