Sunday, February 03, 2008

Turkey Chili

Ground turkey breast is one of those things that I try to use to cut down calories in dishes normally using ground beef. I have a great Turkey Meatloaf recipe I will share one day, I have even made ground turkey tacos. But, by far, my favorite is turkey chili. You can pretty much use any chili recipe and simply substitute ground turkey breast or ground turkey for the beef. Here is my recipe:

Jule's Turkey Chili

- about 1 lb of ground turkey breast (whatever comes in a regular sized package)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 sweet bell peppers, red, yellow or orange, or any combination, chopped in one inch pieces
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 - 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

For toppings:

- Finely diced red onion
- Sour Cream
- Grated Cheddar
- Tortilla Chips

Add olive oil to a large pot or enameled cast iron dutch oven on medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 10 minutes, until transulcent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the peppers and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir until all the spices and well mixed with the onion and peppers, then add the ground turkey breast. Break up with a wooden spoon and continue cooking until the turkey is just cooked through. Then add the can of crushed tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with the toppings, or refrigerate and reheat gently before serving. This also freezes wonderfully for an easy weeknight meal.


Mexican Chicken Soup aka Chicken Tortilla Soup

Why does mirepoix make me so happy?

From the Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook

4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional
6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas

For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.

I did make one change to this recipe. I made it once before, and the sliced tortillas took over the whole soup, and made it a little too thick. So, this time I used only 4 tortillas, and sliced them only 1/4 inch thick. This made the soup perfect. I also added a 10 ounce bag of frozen corn. I actually forgot the corn until after I had already eaten and taken this picture, but I did taste it, and it definitely made it that much better. I froze three quarts of it to enjoy later.