Monday, March 26, 2012

"Basic" Chili

A couple months ago I decided it was time to branch out in my cooking and try a new red chili recipe. Up to this point, when I wanted to do a red one I threw a few cans of beans into the crock pot along with sauteed ground beef (or turkey) and onion, a can of diced tomatoes, taco seasoning and maybe some garlic. It was good, and it worked, particularly with babies on hand. But the babies are growing, and I have a little extra time to try more elaborate recipes. In addition to that, a friend of mine keeps including amazing crock pot recipes in our REAL moms newsletter, all of which originate at the blog A Year of Slow Cooking, by Stephanie O'Dea. Another friend handed me one of O'Dea's cookbooks, and I fell completely in love and have been trying recipes right and left since. Of all of them, though, I think the supreme find has been her "Basic Chili," which, while easy, is anything but basic when it comes to flavor.

I'd say that if you wanted to try this you could just go to O'Dea's site and follow her recipe (and it would be amazing), but since I did a little tweaking, I decided to post the whole recipe here, the way I made it. I'll leave you to determine your own results!

1 lb. ground turkey
1 diced onion
4 15 oz. cans beans, rinsed & drained (I usually use dark red kidney beans & some black beans)
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes (these can be drained)
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
3 T chili powder*
2 t cumin
1 t black pepper
salt to taste
1 T Frank's Hot Sauce
jalepeno pepper slices (you decide how much!)

Saute the onion and ground turkey till the turkey is browned. Dump into a large crock pot with all other ingredients. Stir contents and set to cook: Low heat for a good six hours (you can go longer--it doesn't hurt) or high for four.

* The second time I went to make this I realized I was all out of chili powder. I've been wondering what goes into chili powder, and had a suspicion I had all of the necessary spices. So I googled "chili powder" and came up with a lovely assortment of recipes, ranging from a simple mix of spices to ones made completely from scratch. Someday when the kids are grown I might try it from scratch. For now, I'll stick with mixing store-bought spices!

All that to say, though, I love the homemade chili powder. I think it adds great taste to the chili. The whole this is what Kraig describes as "bright." Here's the chili powder mix if you'd like to try it:

Mix the following:
2 T smoked paprika
2 t oregano
1 1/4 t cumin
1 1/4 t garlic powder
1 1/4 t cayenne pepper
3/4 t onion powder

This makes a little over the 3 tablespoons needed for the chili. You could probably dump the whole batch into the chili and it would just improve it. I think I might try that next time!

So there you have it. Basic chili at its finest. And to be even more basic, I have no photo to go along with this. I obviously am not used to food-blogging :) .


  1. I love chili. I hate to cook, though. So I use the packaged flavoring. Because I'm lazy and my taste buds are easily pleased. :) And I add frozen corn. Yum.

    1. Packaged flavoring! Horrors!

      I won't tell you about the fresh salsa I made yesterday or the alfredo I made tonight for Kraig and me (the kids don't get to have that--way too good :) ). I'd love to cook for you some day.