Monday, January 27, 2014

Sweet Surrender Fire Roasted Turkey Chili

People are always trying to reinvent chili, but I've always preferred the basic formula. What's not to like about old fashioned chili with all the standard spices and fixings?

For this recipe, I wanted to try making a sweeter version, to use as a topping for baked chili dogs. I experimented with a baked beans flavor by adding molasses and brown sugar and surprise- it's my favorite chili recipe ever!  Of course you can sub any type of meat for the ground turkey, or omit altogether for a meatless version.  This is a particularly colorful chili, with four kinds of beans and five kinds of peppers.

Yield: 6-8 servings

3 bell peppers (1 each yellow, green and red), seeded and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper
1 head of garlic
1 16 ounce can each black, pinto, kidney and white beans
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
3 cups chicken broth
1 pound ground turkey, browned and drained
3 dried arbol chiles, seeds and stems removed
3 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by roasting the peppers, garlic and onion.  Peel the onion and break the garlic cloves apart, but leave inside the skin.  Leave the peppers whole.  Drizzle the veggies lightly with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and roast in a 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes, turning once, until the vegetables are soft and have begun to char.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then peel the garlic and set aside.  Dice the peppers (remove the skin if desired, I actually like the flavor and color of it in the chili), jalapeno, and onion.

Add the vegetables to a large pot with 2 cups of the chicken broth, reserving one cup.  Add the cans of beans (including the liquid from the cans), diced tomatoes, molasses and brown sugar, and turn heat to medium.

For this recipe, I used a fun technique I learned from another recipe, roasting the chiles and then pureeing them to make a version of my own chili powder.  Yum!  If you want, you can omit the arbol chiles and add prepared chili powder to taste, skipping this next step altogether, but it's fun ; ) and I thought it added a nice flavor and creamy texture to the chili.

In a separate skillet, roast the dried arbol chiles over high heat for 2-4 minutes, until they begin to brown.  Remove and cool.  Add the roasted chiles to the bowl of a blender or food processor, along with the reserved cup of chicken broth, flour, roasted garlic, and spices (cumin, oregano, and chili powder).  Process until incorporated into a smooth paste, then scrape from the bowl and reserve.

Next, cook the meat over high heat until browned.  Drain and add to the chili.  Add the pureed chili powder to the chili, mixing to incorporate.  If you are concerned about the heat or seasoning, add in batches and taste until you are happy with the flavor.  Cook the chili for about an hour, until it thickens and the beans and meat are sufficiently tender, then season to taste and serve.  Serve with any of the traditional garnishes (cheese, sour cream, onions, cilantro, etc).  Enjoy!

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