"My mind sees that I am nothing, my heart sees that I am everything, between these two poles my life unfolds."

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Two Jewels & A Turkey... Chili!

I realize now that it's been quite some time since I shared a recipe, in fact not since Christmas - my how the time has flown! I suppose it's fitting then, that this recipe calls for turkey. Last weekend I thawed some leftover Christmas bird and made a chili. If you haven't yet used up yours, (& hopefully you had some leftover :) this is a great choice. Easy, healthy and bursting with flavour!

It was adapted from a recipe I found at Simply Recipes, here's a link to the original.

Turkey Chili Recipe

2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 cup chopped green pepper (I left this out - only had red on hand & didn't miss it at all)
1/4 cup olive oil
Two 35 oz cans stewed tomatoes, crushed
Two 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained (I used both white and red kidney beans)
2 Tbsp tomato paste (I used 4 Tbsp)
3/4 cup chicken or turkey stock
2 Tbsp chili powder (or up to 4 Tbsp if you like it really hot - I used 3)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp dried hot red pepper flakes (I used only 1 teaspoon and that was hot enough for us) 
1 teaspoon dried oregano (I used 2 Tbsp of Italian seasoning instead)
1 Tbsp salt, plus more if desired to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 to 4 cups of shredded, cooked turkey meat
Sugar (I omitted this)
Shredded cheddar cheese, chopped red onion, sour cream for optional garnish.
I added two cups of frozen corn the last 15 minutes of cooking.


1 In a large, 8-quart, thick-bottom pot, cook the onion and green pepper over medium high heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for a minute or two more. Add a bit more olive oil if needed.

2 Add tomatoes, tomato paste, stock. beans, oregano, salt, pepper, and cooked turkey meat. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for an hour.

3 Salt to taste. Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of sugar to take the edge of the acidity of the tomatoes if desired.

The chili may be made in advance and chilled for 2 days, or frozen for 2 months.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped red onion, and or sour cream.

Makes about 12 cups. Serves 8.

Before I go, I have two jewels to share with you. Above is an inexpensive scale I purchased last summer when my husband was seriously dieting and needed to weigh his cuts of meat. I had never used a scale before, always just guesstimated ! The other day I was making a stew in my crock-pot and when I was divvying up the package of stewing beef, it suddenly dawned on me how often I now use my scale - a lot! It was well worth the few dollars I spent on it, especially when I purchase large packages of meat, or a recipe calls for 6 oz or 1/2 pound of something, for example fruit.

Also, did you know that you can freeze leftover portions of tomato paste? The above recipe, for example, calls for only 2 tablespoons - a small tin of paste holds approximately 7 tablespoons. I simply froze the rest in tablespoon-sized dollops on parchment paper and popped them into a freezer bag later. Next time I need a tablespoon or two of tomato paste, I can quickly reach into my freezer and tada - I have the exact amount I need! This is a little trick which saves both time and money.


  1. Yum, yum, yum...that looks like a terrific recipe. I used to visit that recipe website regularly awhile back; not sure why I stopped.

    Oh, I love that scale! I have a small one on my kitchen counter but not with a bowl attached to it. This one is even better. I'll have to get me one of these!

    Great tip for the leftover tomato paste! I never thought to do that. Most recipes only need a tablespoon or two, and then you're left wondering what to do with the rest.

  2. Thanks for the tomato paste tip. It's cold and snowy here today, chili may be on the horizon for my family.
    Have a great weekend,

  3. So Lovely Jane..thanks for sharing your kitchen magic!

  4. Our temp will be much lower this weekend. Good time for chili. Thanks!
    Love the tips on freezing tomato paste and also about the scale. English cooks have used scales for years, it is just catching on in America.
    My Daddy's homemade canned tomatoes make all the difference in the world in my chili! :-)

    1. Kay, I'll bet they are the cherry on top!

  5. Love the tomato paste tip! Ive never thought of freezing it.

  6. Your turkey chili looks amazing, Jane! And as for the tomato paste tip I would have never thought of that! I do love my money saving cooking ideas!

  7. Killing a little time before heading to town...now I'm hungry:) Great recipe share and tip Jane, thanks! Back soon.

  8. This may be the chilli recipe to replace some of the many others I have used for a long time. A fresh change will be great and this looks like the one. Thanks Jane, the picture is lovely and I'm sure the taste is superb.

    Wa, wa, wa- we have SNOW and its cold here in the Banana Belt. And we thought we would escape, what ever made us think like that, eh?

    My kitchen scale is very handy, I use it for bulk meat I buy at the Farmer's Market, great investment.

  9. I love any kind of chili...and this one looks fabulous!!!

  10. Thanks for all of your comments everyone :) The tomato paste tip was your 'nugget of truth' for this week!! If anyone does get around to trying out this recipe, let me know what you think - and any tweaks you came up with. Next time I plan to add mushrooms that I've sauteed in butter beforehand.

  11. I didn't know about the tomato paste and i can't tell you how much I appreciate learning that tip. I don't suppose you know of a way to keep fresh cilantro? I love using it but just like the tomato paste you have to buy a huge bunch. I was not successful when i tried to freeze it. The recipe looks great! thanks, Jane!

    1. I'm sorry, I don't Francie, mostly because cilantro happens to be one of the very few spices I dislike..! I did find this in About.com for you:

      As soon as you arrive home with fresh cilantro, place the stems (with roots intact if attached) in a glass of water and cover the the top loosely with a plastic bag. Refrigerate. Snip off leaves as you need them and re-cover. The water should be changed every 2 to 3 days. Do not wash the herb until you are ready to use it since excess moisture will turn the leaves to green slime during storage. Depending on its treatment at the market, it should last up to a week in the refrigerator.

      To freeze, place a small amount dry cilantro leaves in a single layer on a cookie sheet. When frozen, gather into a zip-top bag, returning to the freezer immediately. Use within 6 months. Do not thaw before using.

      Cilantro may also be dried in the same manner as parsley, however, its flavor will be greatly diminished. Drying is neither recommended nor worth your time. Dried cilantro is available in most markets, should you have the need.

      Hope this helps :)

  12. The recipe looks and sounds delicious--I do have chopped up left-over turkey in the freezer, so I'll try out the recipe this week! I have a scale on the counter all the time--it was my mom's. But it's just the ordinary kind with a flat weighing plate. I check the portions of raw meat/bone that Duffy is getting, just to make sure I'm still in the ball park with my eyeball guesstimates!! I've seen tomato paste in a tube on the Rachel Ray show--but I've never seen that here in Edmonton. That would be very handy!

    1. Tomato paste in a tube sounds like it would be very handy - I'm sure it'll get here eventually.

  13. Jane, I just love your chili recipe, and agree with the modification you used. I agree, that 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes are plenty enough. They are soooo spicy, and I would omit the sugar, as well. I also have a handy scale, and will follow your technique!
    Thanks for sharing:DDD