Soups, stews, and braises are favorites in our house, as the hands-on time is usually minimal and they make great leftovers. On busy nights, we love knowing that there’s something delicious waiting in the fridge and that means dinner can be on the table in minutes. We are unabashed carnivores, but during the week we try to eat healthfully. With that in mind, I created this traditional chili using ground turkey (although it would be equally delicious with ground beef.)
Set up a cutting board near the stove so that you can prep the ingredients while you are cooking. Dice 1 medium onion. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil until hot. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 5–8 minutes. While the onion is cooking, peel and thinly slice 2 cloves garlic, then toss it into the pot and sauté them with the onion until softened. Add 2 tablespoons pure chile powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon smoked chile powder (such as smoked serrano or chipotle powder, or hot smoked paprika in a pinch) and 3–4 teaspoons ground cumin and stir for 1 minute. Scoot the onion mixture to the side of the pot. Add a little more oil to the empty space in the pot, then add 1 pound ground turkey. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the turkey with a wooden spoon, until no pink remains, about 10 minutes. If you haven’t already done so, mix the turkey with the onion-spice mixture.
Stir in about 1/3 cup hearty red wine and cook until nearly evaporated. Meanwhile, open one 28-ounce can of plum tomatoes, pour them into a bowl, and using your hands, carefully squeeze the tomatoes to break them up into smaller pieces. Add the tomatoes and juices to the pot. Add 2 cups chicken broth or water, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat so that the liquid just simmers. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chili has reduced slightly and the flavors blend. If you’re really hungry, you can serve it after 30 minutes of simmering, but it’s better if you have the time to simmer for 45–60 minutes. (It’s even better the next day, so, depending on how many people you are serving, you can look forward to a second meal.) Add one 15-ounce can kidney beans (drained and rinsed first) and cook for 5 minutes to heat through.
Serve the chili in bowls topped with your choice of toppings. We like shredded cheddar cheese; chopped green onions; plain yogurt (or sour cream if you are feeling indulgent) and chopped fresh cilantro.
Makes 4 servings