What I'm Cooking

Kristin's Five Alarm Chili
When I was in grad school, I lived on canned chili with lots of cheese and onions. One day, I looked at the back of the can and realized that I'd better find a healthier alternative. It took me about five years of tweaking, but I built this turkey chili that tastes hot and smoky. I knew I'd hit the mark one day when I had a chili craving and we didn't have any in the freezer. I cracked open an emergency can of Hormel and found myself thinking how anemic it tasted compared to what I was used to. The actual assembly of the chili is pretty easy, but you do need to be patient and let it simmer a minimum of 2 1/2 hours for the full flavor to develop (I usually cook it on a weekend).
4 T olive oil
3 onions coarsely chopped
3 lb ground
1 t garlic powder
½ t salt
1 T pepper
8 cloves minced garlic
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
4 adobo chilis, canned
1 T sugar
½ can beer
4 oz chili powder
2 T tomato paste
2 t mole paste
3 T beef glace or 2 T boullion pwd. (skip salt if using boullion)
2 t onion powder
2 t black truffle oil
3 T parsley
2 cans red beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
2 cans diced tomatoes (plain or roasted garlic), drained
1 quart water
1 t salt
Tabasco to taste
4 T whole wheat flour

Add olive oil to deep, thick-bottomed pot. Add chopped onions and cook over medium high heat, stirring until browned, about 10 minutes. Add ground turkey, browning over medium high heat, stirring periodically. Add garlic powder, salt, pepper, and garlic, continuing to brown turkey, 15 minutes total. While turkey is browning, in blender puree 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, adobo chiles, sugar, beer, chili powder, tomato paste, and mole paste. Add to browned turkey mixture in pot, stir. Reduce heat to medium low and add beef glace (or bouillion) to pot. Simmer 15 minutes on low heat, stirring every few minutes to dissolve glace. Add onion powder, truffle oil, parsley, beans, diced tomatoes, water, and salt (do not use salt if using bouillion) to pot. Stir well.

Do not cover pot. Reduce heat and simmer 2 ½ hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Check spiciness -- add Tabasco to increase heat if necessary. If chili is too thin at the end of this perio, mix flour with water to make smooth slurry. Add to pot, stirring well to prevent lumps. Cook an additional 30 min. Makes 12 servings; freezes extraordinarily well.

Serve topped with chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, and fat free cheddar cheese. Accompany with steamed flour tortillas. To steam tortillas, use frying pan with tight-fitting lid. Put 3/4 in. of water in bottom of frying pan, topping with a splatter screen. Place stack of 3-7 tortillas on top of splatter screen, then cover with frying pan lid. Turn heat to medium high until water begins to boil. Let steam for about 10-15 minutes. Tortillas will come out hot and tender, perfect for chili. Bottom tortilla is the sacrificial tortilla, which you will have to throw out.

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