Here’s something you may not know about turkeys: when Europeans first encountered them in North America they thought they were a type of guineafowl from the country of Turkey. Trading ships brought the birds from the New World to England in the early 1500’s and within a decade they became commonly known as turkey birds. In 1601, Shakespeare even mentioned turkeys in his play, “Twelfth Night.” They’ve been mistakenly called turkeys ever since.
As usual, I digress. Following is a recipe for a delicious and easy turkey chili that I found on CHOW.com. Yes, there are other turkey chili recipes on hungry poodle, but this one has a subtle twist that makes it appropriate for the holiday season. Bear with me while I explain.
Chili is traditionally seasoned with chili powder, cumin and oregano, and those tried-and-true seasonings are all here, but there’s also an extra, indescribable flavor that sets this chili off. Champ was at first confounded. “There’s something different about this chili but I can’t make out what it is,” Champ said. “It’s clearly one of your best, though. Delicious.”
The secret ingredient? I gave you a hint when I said it was good holiday fare — it’s ground cinnamon! Now, don’t get your giblets in an uproar, the tiny amount of cinnamon doesn’t overwhelm the chili spiciness of this dish; it actually enhances it. In fact, if you don’t tell anyone in your family that it’s there, they probably won’t even notice. They will, however, love this healthy, flavorful, festive chili.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey *
3 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. kosher salt (If using table salt, start with 1 1/2 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 (14-oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 bay leaf
* I like Honeysuckle White 93% lean ground turkey, which you can find at most supermarkets.
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven. Add bell pepper, onion and garlic. Sauté until vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.
Increase heat to medium high and add turkey. Cook, breaking it up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until it is no longer pink, about 4 to 6 minutes.
Add chili powder, salt, oregano, cumin and cinnamon, stir to coat turkey and vegetables and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add tomatoes and their juices as well as the broth. Bring to a simmer and add beans and bay leaf. Simmer until flavors blend, about 30 minutes.
Remove bay leaf. Serve with your favorite toppings: grated cheddar cheese, low fat sour cream or nonfat plain Greek yogurt, chopped fresh cilantro.
WW PP per serving: 8