Considering how much I enjoy eating chili, I was surprised to realize I had never cooked up some of my own. This realization hit when I was staring at the piles of Super Bowl leftovers. I was trying to figure out what I could make with the extra diced tomatoes (I made my own salsa), the extra diced onions (from the guacamole), and the huge pot of Lit’l’ Smokies. Then I remembered I had some ground turkey I needed to use. Chili experiment time!
My Chili Recipe
-Serves about 4-6 people
1 lb ground turkey
1 can kidney beans (rinsed)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 jalapeno (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 half of small onion (chopped)
1 can of diced tomatoes (with the juice)
Saute the onion, garlic, and jalapeno, then add the ground turkey. Drain after the turkey is thoroughly cooked.
Place the turkey mixture into a large pot over medium heat and add the kidney beans and tomatoes. Dump in chili powder and add cumin and pepper to taste. No salt is needed. For extra spice, mix in some Cayenne pepper as well.
I like my chili chunky. If you like yours saucier, I recommend substituting some or all of the diced tomatoes for tomato sauce.
I actually added my leftover Lit’l Smokies to my chili. It was very yummy, but considering I will not purchase Lit’l Smokies for the purpose of making chili, I did not include it in my “official” recipe. If you want extra meat in your chili, you can add Lit’l Smokies, of course, or some chopped bacon.
Quick Chili Background
Chili con carne (translated to “chili pepper with meat”) was first invented in San Antonio Texas. The original recipes contained dried beef, suet (beef fat), salt, and dried chili peppers. But traditional versions of chili are simply beef, chili peppers, garlic, onions, and cumin. Other versions sometimes contain beans, tomatoes, different meats, and other vegetables. However, some chili enthusiasts insist that real chili contains no beans whatsoever. The Chili Appreciation Society International even specified in 1999 that cooks were forbidden to include beans in their chili (along with being forbidden to “discharge firearms or use any other pyrotechnics during chili cookoff”, among other things).
Texas-Style Chili: This is the variation closest to the original one – meat (usually beef, sometimes venison), chili peppers, garlic, onions and no beans.
Vegetarian Chili: (Chili sin carne) This version contains no meat, but is usually replaced with tofu or potatoes. There are extra vegetables and almost always beans.
White Chili: White chili uses great northern beans (white beans) and ground turkey or chicken breast. Tomato based sauce is excluded to give the chili a white appearance.
Cincinnati -style Chili: This is eaten as a hot dog or spaghetti topping. It often contains unusual ingredients (such as chocolate or cinnamon) and omits the use of chili peppers/powder.
Chili Verde: This is a spicier chili which usually contains chunks of pork. Tomatoes are rarely included.
What can chili be added to?
Cheesy fries, burgers, macaroni (or other pastas), Frito chips, nachos, baked potatoes, and hot dogs are foods that taste absolutely delicious with a pile of chili on top.