Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's Chili Time! Turkey Tomatillo Chili

Here in Austin TX, the weather has had us on a crazy roller coaster ride - 96 degrees one day, 56 degrees the next. To quote my friend Angie "Fall is in and out of our lives like a bad boyfriend." Today it is one of those 56 degree days, and the humidity is low, and it finally feels like Fall. I couldn't be more pleased.

On the other end of my world - up in Minneapolis - they saw their first snow of the season today. And while I'm sure they're mostly not thrilled with the idea of snow as early as October 10th, I'm more than a little envious.

This means it chili makin' time. Any soup will do really, but chili has always been one of my favorites 'cause I like it hot, spicy that is.

This recipe was inspired by something a friend made once. I'm not sure of her recipe, or its source. Rather, I did what I love to do most in the kitchen - I improvised. I did my best to recollect the slightly smoky, spicy chili I ate last winter, made something similar several times making adjustments each time, until I was satisfied with this recipe.

Turkey Tomatillo Chili

12-15 tomatillos husks removed and quartered
1 large jalapeno pepper cut in thirds
2 large dried New Mexican chilis (or ancho chilis)
1 cup boiling water
6 cloves roasted garlic
1 large yellow onion chopped
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves raw garlic minced
1 pound ground turkey (optional)
1 1/2 cups of cooked great northern beans
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon hot smoked paprika
4 cups homemade vegetable or chicken stock
sea salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Puree the tomatillos and the jalapeno in blender and set aside. Soak dried chilis in boiling water for 20 minutes, then puree with the roasted garlic in a blender and set aside. Saute the onions and raw garlic in olive oil until the onion starts to soften. Add the turkey and brown. Add the dried spices and stir until turkey is coated nicely. Add the beans. Add the chili puree, the tomatillo puree, and the stock. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for at least 30 to 45 minutes until flavors have had a chance to blend and the chili starts to thicken a bit. Add salt and pepper. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, grated cheese, and chopped fresh cilantro.

Notes: I like to roast several heads of garlic when I have the oven on for some other reason, just to have them around for recipes like this one. Roasted garlic is sweeter than raw, and lends itself to smoky recipes. I use pasture raised, organic turkey from a local farm, you could leave the turkey out completely, add more beans, and go vegetarian. I keep homemade stock on hand in the freezer, but you could - of course - use an organic store bought variety. For more heat add an extra jalapeno or a Serrano pepper.

Serves 6


Ground Turkey Chili on Foodista

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