Shane and I packed up most of our stuff this past weekend with the assumption that we would close -– and therefore move -– on Thursday. Eating take-out on paper plates for a handful of days, we reasoned, would leave us no worse for the wear. Goodbye Mikasa plates, Wustof knives, OXO spatula; I'll catch you on the flip side.
On Monday, during the final walk-through at the new house, we ran into a snag. Our realtor had spoken to our lawyer’s office: closing on August 3 would be “impossible.” I had to be careful because if I’d hit the roof, I’d be damaging the house we were about to purchase.
The moment I realized that a diet of take-out might last longer than a few days was the same moment I got sick of take-out. The hunt of easy-to-make dishes was on. (As was the hunt for mixed drinks. Check out the Dr. Kevorkian .)
This recipe, a slightly adapted one by Rachael Ray, uses one pot. It’s simple to make and comes together fairly quickly. As with many dishes using ground turkey, the final product is a bit dry (you can, however, substitute diced turkey). Conversely, the chili itself is more soupy than traditional chili, so you might want to scale back on the chicken stock and/or tomatoes.
The classic flavors of chili are all here. Top with cheddar cheese, scallions and don’t forget the sour cream. I’m not sure what it is, but that final touch enhanced the overall flavor of this dish.
Despite the use of an entire jalepeno pepper plus Tabasco sauce, the final result isn’t particularly spicy. Neither Kian, 11, nor Sadie, almost 8, made any mention of heat). If you like more of a kick, try adding more of the hot stuff towards the end of the cooking time.
Turkey Corn Chili
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, red or green, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
2 pounds cooked turkey meat, either ground or diced
1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp. (a palm full) chili powder
1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp (a palm full) ground cumin
1 to 2 tsps (several drops) cayenne pepper (Tabasco) sauce
2 cups frozen corn kernels or leftover prepared corn
1 (32-ounce) can chunky style crushed tomatoes
2 cups prepared chicken stock or broth
2 scallions, white and greens, chopped
Heat a deep pot over medium high heat. Work close to the stove for your chopping. Add oil to your pot, 1 turn of the pan, and add vegetables as you chop them.
Add bay leaf and cook vegetables 5 minutes, stirring frequently, reducing heat if veggies start to stick. Stir in diced turkey meat and season with chili powder, cumin, and cayenne sauce. Season with a little salt, to taste. Fish out bay leaf, then add corn, tomatoes, and broth. Combine your chili well, adjust seasonings (I added a bit more cumin and salt) reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes. Garnish chili with chopped scallions, cheese and sour cream.
Yield: 8 servings