Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wait, what?

What was I talking about back there? About the bitter cold, the hunkering down inside - about all of that extreme winter cold being a memory. What?

What??

Because right now I'm looking outside at snownadoes, and the air feels like -20.

I guess I was disillusioned last Sunday with our one day of glorious sunshine. The warmth on my cheeks and puddles in parking lots tricked me into thinking we had come out the other side; that we had turned, even just slightly, toward spring. Who knew there would be a round two! And yet, here we are. The polar vortex thingy is back. Temperatures are peaking before sunrise and sinking the rest of the day. For tomorrow, we're looking at a high of -11. That's air temperature, people. Windchill is forecasted at -40.

And so we make chili.


This turkey chili makes a regular appearance on our stove in the winter, especially during bitter cold snaps. We made it most recently during that first wave of insane cold earlier this month. After getting home from work with fingers frozen and cheeks chapped by the polar wind, the only reasonable option for dinner was a heavy pot of chili.

And with nearly the same forecast this week, my hunch is that another pot will be bubbling on our stove by Tuesday.


OK, about this recipe. I wasn't sure if I wanted to share this recipe here, because it's not an award-winner, knock-your-wool-socks-off kind of recipe. But, it's good. It's easy. It's one of our true winter staple recipes. And so I thought you might like a good, easy, staple-kind of recipe for your repertoire. Those are some of my favorite types of recipes to collect, after all; the recipes that might not show up at a dinner party, but are kept handy and fill stomachs in your household again and again. Hopefully you feel the same.

Good luck out there!



Turkey Chili

Note: Don't be alarmed by the amount of garlic and chili powder in this; the turkey and beans need a heavy seasoning. Also, this chili is even better the next day, and freezes perfectly.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey thigh
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
3 cans of pinto or red kidney beans, drained (I use a mixture of the two)
28 ounce can diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
Pinch of salt
Shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, for serving

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper and garlic; saute until onion has softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the ground turkey and cook while breaking up the turkey with a spoon; cook until turkey is no longer pink. Stir in the chili powder and cumin; cook for another minute. Add beans, tomatoes and their juices, and chicken broth. Stir well. Raise heat to bring to a boil, then reduce to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chili has thickened, about one hour.

Taste and add salt and additional chili powder as needed. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkling of cheddar cheese.

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