Chili...as 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 without...you 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!
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.
Years ago, I followed my dreams and went to culinary school. I went to culinary school to continue the dream that my mother and I always shared: to open up a deli or cafe somewhere and call it our own. Whether that cafe will ever open is still up in the air...but my cooking and my love for food I owe to my mother...and in a way this blog is dedicated to her...I only hope that I can inspire other women with this blog the way my mother inspired me...With her love for food passed onto me, I quickly became a food snob after culinary school. Today, a house, a husband' (and his stomach),and an up and coming business keeps me busy enough without all my gourmet concoctions! But, no matter how busy I am, I still go to my kitchen and cook to retain my sanity. Prehaps this is a way I connect to my mother...but cooking is the only thing that truely soothes my soul. My recent transformation has led me to belive that sometimes you just have to Keep It Simple Stupid...and Cook!
I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead - not sick, not wounded - dead. ~Woody Allen
Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. ~Mark Twain
Great food is like great sex. The more you have the more you want. ~Gael Greene
Tell me what you eat, I'll tell you who you are. ~Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
And, of course, the funniest food of all, kumquats. ~George Carlin
Avoid fruit and nuts. You are what you eat. ~Jim Davis
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~George Miller
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. ~Harriet van Horne
Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~Doug Larson
I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian. ~Anonymous
But those aren't the flavors. That'd make too much sense. Apple and pear, according to Dr. Phil, are body types the bars are made for. Hey, I've got some advice. If you look like an apple or a pear, eat an apple or a pear! [On Dr. Phil's energy bars. ~Lewis Black