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Dave’s Turkey Chili

dave’s chili

It’s great to have friends that are good cooks. Not only do they appreciate your efforts in the kitchen when you cook for them, but they are a great source of new recipes. My friend Dave gave me his excellent turkey chili recipe, which is popular with his firefighting buddies (he’s a firefighter, too), as well as with anyone else who has it.

This chili is a favorite for several reasons, the most important being that it tastes fantastic. In addition to that, it is healthy, can be used to serve a crowd and is very easy to make. Instead of requiring a half-dozen individual spices, the recipe calls for the use of a grill seasoning blend or spice rub. If you’re like me, you’ll always have a versatile spice rub on hand for grilling and general seasoning. A rub will already have multiple spices in it, as well as salt and pepper, saving time but delivering lots of flavor.

You can do a lot to play around with the heat level in this chili (or any chili), too. The amount of chili powder can be adjusted up or down, as can the amount of hot sauce. There is something to be said for milder chilis, where you can really taste the individual flavors of the ingredients, but I like my chili on the spicy side and so I increased the heat by adding red pepper flakes to my batch. If you end up making the chili too spicy, you can cut the heat by adding some more tomato sauce to the mixture. The chili is very meaty and, if you prefer your chilis to be a little saucier, this might be a good option for you, too.

Serve this chili with some sour cream, grated cheese, avocado and bread or cornbread. If you’re looking for another side dish, grilled corn on the cob can be a great accompaniment, too.

Dave’s Turkey Chili
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 pounds ground turkey
3 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp grill seasoning blend (I used my spice rub)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp hot sauce
1 large onion, quartered and thinnly sliced
2 large peppers, diced
1 cup (about 1/2 bottle) beer
1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce (2 for a saucier chili)
1/2 cup bbq sauce

Place a large dutch oven or pot on the stove over medium high heat, and add in the vegetable oil and the ground turkey meat. As the meat begins to cook, break it up with a wooden spoon or spatula. Season the meat with chili powder, grill seasoning, cinnamon, red pepper flakes (if using), Worcestershire and hot sauce. Stir well and continue cooking until meat is coked through, about 10 minutes.
Add onions and chopped bell peppers to the meat and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beer, tomato sauce and barbecue sauce. Cover chili and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 45 minutes, or until peppers and onions are tender. Remove from heat and serve.

Serves approx 10, depending on appetites.

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  • Anonymous
    September 18, 2008

    This recipe rocks!! My family loved it…I added beans and it was even better the next day.

  • RoSco
    January 11, 2009

    This has become one of my staples. I live in a two-person household, so we usually make up a batch, eat half and freeze half! It is terrific to have this delicious chili on demand! And, like the other poster, I usually add beans, too.

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