Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Turchicken Chili...The Perfect Chili American as Apple Pie...Mac and Cheese and Chicken Noodle Soup...Craved by some loved by many, this perfect meal can be the cure for the common cold, the next day hangover, the winter blues or dozens of other common ailments. And as many cures as it boasts that's how many different varieties and recipes there are all over the country. The history of chili is still a bit unknown but the one common fact that is known is that it was NOT born south of our borders.

The most common tales speak of hungry cowboys with not much meat or desirable meat parts to spare. Being so close to the southern border plenty of spices and chiles were available to cook down the stringy and scarce meets down to a delicious and hearty stew. The name chili came from the use of different chilis used as flavorings in the beanless stew. That's right...beanless...a true Texan chili is without beans or tomatoes. In fact it's essentially a spicy stew...and by the way did you know that the national state food of Texas is chili? So do not go around Texas hoping to find yourself a nice bowl of chili with beans and tomatoes...most likely you will be laughed at by a cowboy hat clad Texan and gently ushered out of the state.

No one really knows - while there are a lot of controversial stories - of where and when the beans came into the picture, I will loudly proclaim (Texans please spare me) that I love a nice chili with BEANS! That being said...I have spent years trying out a variety of chili recipes...with peppers and without...with tomato sauce and without...with searing the meat and will notice that this is the first and only chili recipe I have posted - with darn good reason. I never found a recipe before that I wanted to stamp my name on. Until my most recent attempt. Being a hard core proteinarian these days I need to shove as much healthy protein into my shrinking body as possible. (More on this in another post). So I started looking for a way to pack more protein and flavor punch into my chili...

I came across thousands of chili recipes on the net and in all my cookbooks, none of which really excited me. I wanted a chili that I would crave day after day...I wanted a chili that made me cry out "ye-haw!' while waving my cowboy hat in the air! (yes I have one...don't judge) And by some streak of dumb luck and laziness...I did it...I created the perfect chili for me. It was healthy, it had a killer protein punch and it was delicous. The perfect combination of flavors in this chili is thanks to the use of both chicken and turkey (get it- turchicken chili?) With tons of lean mean and beans this chili will prove to be the perfect dinner for any health nut... or rural cowboy. So get the crockpots out...put on your cowboy hats and scream "YAHAWWWWWW" this chili is here to stay!

Turchicken Chili

1 Pound of 97% Lean Ground Turkey
1/2 Pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
1 15 Oz Can Diced Tomatoes with Jalapeno, Oregano and Onion (or similar)
1 15 Oz Can Diced Tomatoes with Italian Seasoning
1 15 Oz Can Chili Style Beans
1 15 Oz Can Kidney Beans, rinced and drained
1 Spanish Onion, Diced
1 Jalapeno, Seeded, Minced
4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Packet of Chili or Taco Seasoning
Sour cream, sliced scallions and shredded cheese to be used for garnish
Olive Oil

1. Coat a pan with olive oil and sear the ground turkey until golden brown; about 10 minutes. *While turkey is cooking chop up your onions, jalapeno and garlic.*
2. Add all the ingredients and HALF of the seasoning packet into a crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours.
3. After the first 2 hours, remove the chicken thighs and shred with two forks. Add back into the crockpot and continue to cook.
4. Taste for seasoning; if need more seasoning add in the remaining seasoning packet, tasting as you go as to not to over season.

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