Homestyle Turkey Chili

Earlier I asked on twitter what “intricate and complex” meal I should cook for myself. Should it be my mom’s homemade chili or macaroni and cheese? I don’t know why I’m having such an intense craving for comfort food but you know what they say…..don’t fight the feeling. Oh, I don’t fight it. Not at all.

What I really want though is for my MOM to make one of these meals for me and for me to eat it, in my navy blue sweatpants from freshman year, while watching Oprah on tv and drinking wine.

Is that too much to ask? Unfortunately both my mom and Oprah are 3,000 miles away (I don’t have a television) so I had to make due with what I’ve got: a kitchen the size of a shoebox and a tattered old book of recipes that mom hand wrote for me when I moved out the first time*.

I love my mom so much!
Guess who?
Even as a youngin’, I was overly ambitious.
And loved the ocean, especially when wearing sweet purple jumpsuits.
After nostalgically flipping through the pages, I decided on chili. Chili freezes well, tastes delicious and is really inexpensive to make!
So here we go.
First, chop a gigantic onion as well as a big red bell pepper, eight cloves of garlic (you heard me…eight!) and a jalapeno pepper.
Saute everything in two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium/low heat:
After about five minutes, add a pound of lean ground turkey to the mix. You could also use sirloin but I always prefer turkey chili, myself.
Cook until the meat has browned, about eight minutes. Stir baby stir!
Then, add 2 tbsp chili powder:
One tbsp ground cumin:
Two tbsp brown sugar:
One tsp oregano:
And three tbsp tomato paste.
No need for anything fancy here. Hunts is fine.
Cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
Then, add 1 1/4 cup red wine (I used Zinfandel but Merlot or Cabernet or…whatever you got is fine):
Two large cans crushed tomatoes:
Two normal sized cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed:
And two bay leaves.
It should smell deeeeelicious.
Give the pot one final stir, bring to a simmer and then cover and cook for one hour, stirring occasionally.
While the chili cooks, you should probably clean the kitchen.
And drink some wine?
After the hour is up, remove cover and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes before serving. I like to serve my chili over noodles with lots of cheddar cheese on top….it’s how my mom always made it for us when we were kids! Also, this chili gets a lot better the longer it sits. Even though I love it on day one, it tastes even better the third time around…you know?
*from the period of 2004-2009 I moved out and back in with my parents numerous times. Don’t judge.


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