Thursday, October 15, 2009

Best Turkey Chili I have ever made

"Next to jazz music, there is nothing that lifts the spirit and strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chili."
- Harry James

It always interests me how many different ways there are to make and eat chili. Entire cook-offs are devoted to it and there are infinite ways in which it can be served. I like mine with diced up raw onion and melted cheese on top with a bit of cilantro. My roommate Liz likes to mush up her cornbread in it. I learned last year that a very Midwest way to serve it is with macaroni noodles (I'm not such a fan of this). How do you like to eat your chili?

One of the things I love about chili is that it is so easy to customize and make with whatever you have on hand. These are just rough guidelines. Don't like turkey? Use another kind of meat. Add more or less chili powder to adjust the heat. Got some green peppers? Throw those in. So many options! **The only thing I wouldn't skip out on is the spicy tomato juice. Adds a great kick.**

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cans tomato sauce (28 ounce)
1 1/2 cups spicy tomato or vegetable juice
1 lb lean ground turkey
2 cans (15 ounce) black beans, drained
1 can (15 ounce) kidney beans
1 onion, chopped
3 tbsp chili con carne seasoning
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tbsp cumin
Pinch of allspice
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a skillet over medium and cook turkey until evenly brown. Drain.

In a slow cooker, combine tomato sauce, spicy tomato juice, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin and allspice. Stir until spices are evenly incorporated into liquid. Add meat, onion, and beans and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

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