Wednesday, February 20, 2013

turkey chili

Who doesn't love a good chili? Wait, let me rephrase that. Who doesn't love a good PALEO chili? Yup! This is clean and freakin delectable. For a traditional chili, I think ground beef and kidney beans. However, I'm a big fan of leaner meats and prefer to Paleo-fy. So, my chili includes ground turkey and I ditched the legumes. Instead, I substituted the would-be kidney beans with carrots-- a perfectly hearty vegetable that can definitely hold its own. The thicker carrot slices and the ground turkey together creates such a substantial and rustic dish for a chilly winter night. 

Looking for a one-pot meal? You got one! Because this recipe yields a big pot of chili, invite friends over, bring to a potluck, or do as I do and store the leftovers. It's one of those recipes that just tastes even better reheated the next day.

I firmly believe that making food leaner and cleaner doesn't have to take away from flavor. And this has a nice spicy, chili kick.

Turkey Chili
Yields about 6-8 servings

1 lb. ground turkey (a little more, a little less won't hurt)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2" coins (about 4-5 medium carrots)
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
4.93 oz tube tomato paste (I get mine from Trader Joe's)
29 oz canned diced tomatoes (crushed tomatoes would work great too! I do a combination of the two)
1 cup fresh tomato, diced
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp parsley, rough chopped + extra for sprinkling

1. Heat a large Dutch oven or stock pot with olive oil on medium to medium high heat. Once the Dutch oven is hot, add the ground turkey and cook until browned. Ground turkey is very lean so the olive oil will help get it going.
2. Once the ground turkey is browned, scoop it into a side dish or bowl. With all the ground turkey juices, saute onions, red bell pepper, and carrots. 
3. Once the onions and red bell pepper are tender, add the turkey back into the Dutch oven. At this point, dump in all the other ingredients-- canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, fresh tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, cumin, red pepper flakes, and parsley. Stir everything together until well combined.
4. Allow chili to come up to a boil. Then cover with a lid and simmer on low for about 45 minutes or until the carrots are tender. If you dice them or slice them thinner, they will likely cook much quicker. I like the heartiness of thicker coin-cut carrots, so it does take extra time. But, the longer the chili simmers on the stove, the more flavor you will extract from all the ingredients. 
5. Serve hot and sprinkle with extra parsley.

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