This is my back yard on a snowy day in January.

This is my back yard on a snowy day in January.

 

School is closed for a snow day…again. Growing up in Chicago, I don’t remember having this many snow days. At the risk of sounding cliché, we used to have to walk to school with the snow up to our knees! These days, all it takes is even the slightest hint of a flurry and the kids are stuck at home with me. Well, it’s more like I’m stuck at home with them.

Chili always seems like a good idea on a winter day. It requires a little bit of prep. But, once it’s in the pot, chili can simmer while you and the kids enjoy some fun indoor activities.
 
This time, I decided to use ground turkey instead of ground beef. I’m not a super health nut, but when I have the opportunity to substitute ingredients for more health conscious options, carpe diem. Plus when you have such bold flavors like those found in good chili you hardly notice the difference. I mix white meat and dark meat ground turkey together. Using all white meat ground turkey tends to yield a dry base for the chili. The blend gives a nice texture with just the right amount of fat.
 
To remix this cold weather classic, I like to add a can of beer. Practically any beer will do. The beer gives it a punch.
 
Let’s get started:
Pull together all of your ingredients.
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Brown ground turkey. Once the meat is browned, set aside. Saute onions and peppers in grapeseed oil. I use grapeseed oil because it has a high smoke point, meaning it can withstand very high temperatures without burning. Also it has a neutral taste so you don’t have to worry about unwanted flavor.
Sauteed Onions and Bell Peppers
When the veggies are tender, add them to the ground turkey with bags of frozen light or dark red kidney beans (or a combination of both) in a dutch oven or slow cooker. I prefer frozen beans and veggies over canned ones. I find they have the freshest flavor. Next add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and all the spices. Don’t forget the beer!
Chili ready to simmer.
Let your chili simmer for at least an hour to get the fullest flavor. This is the perfect time to do crafts with the kids or any other indoor activity. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Add hot sauce until you achieve your desired heat quotient. Serve your chili with a dollop of sour cream and cheddar cheese. Thin sliced red or green onions taste great too!
 
Serve it with the traditional garnishes, homemade cornbread and a yummy cabernet sauvignon. The kids can have grape juice. 😉 
 
**If you’re in the market for a delicious cornbread recipe, look no further than here.
Snow Day Turkey Chili
Serves 8
The perfect meal for a cold winter day.
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 tablespoons grape seed oil, divided
  2. 1 large yellow onion, diced
  3. 1 green bell pepper, diced
  4. 1 pound ground turkey breast
  5. 1 pound ground turkey thigh
  6. 1 can crushed organic tomatoes, undrained
  7. 1 can organic tomato sauce
  8. 1 12oz beer, preferably lager
  9. 2 16oz bags frozen red kidney beans (light, dark or both)
  10. 2 tablespoons chili powder
  11. 2 tablespoons sugar
  12. 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  13. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  14. 1 teaspoon dried basil
  15. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  16. salt and pepper, to taste
  17. Tobasco sauce, to taste
Instructions
  1. Brown ground turkey in 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil in a skillet, set aside.
  2. Saute onion and bell pepper.
  3. Combine browned meat and veggies in a dutch oven.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans and beer.
  5. Add remaining ingredients (sugar, spices, etc).
  6. Bring chili to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Notes
  1. If using a slow cooker, cook on low for 2 hours.
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