Chili, to me, is as American as the burger and apple pie. It’s about the Western migration, the Gold Rush, cowboys, and the heat of the Southwest. I know that I’m a dork, but that’s how I feel.
Autumn is chili season. I must make it 3-5 times, which is a lot for me because I live alone and you can’t make just a little bit of chili. I was so excited that the weather permitted me to make this today. It was just what I needed to get into the spirit of the season.
Here is the recipe.
I make my chili in a crock pot. Here’s a close-up of this yumminess.
1 cup of uncooked black beans
1 cup of uncooked small red beans
2 cups of bean liquid
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 large white onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, diced
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb. of ground turkey
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
1 tsp of dried Italian seasonings
2 packets of Sazon
2 tbsp of chili powder
2 tbsp of cumin powder
1 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp of cayenne pepper powder
2 cups of diced butternut squash
4 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
The night before, put uncooked beans in a pot with 2 bay leaves. Fill the pot with very hot water. Make sure you use enough water because the beans will absorb the water and expand.
The morning of, turn crock pot on high and dump in the crushed tomatoes and 2 bay leaves. While that is heating up, brown ground turkey in a pan with some olive oil. Once the turkey is cooked, add it to the tomatoes in the crock pot. In the same pan, saute onions, peppers, and garlic. While the vegetables are cooking, drain the beans reserving 2 cups of the bean water. Place beans and reserved water in the crock pot. Once the vegetables are soft, add in chopped cilantro and spices including the cocoa powder and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cooked vegetables and butternut squash to the crock pot. Cook for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally.
I also make some corn bread muffins to go with it. I just use the Jiffy muffin mixture. It’s cheap and super easy.
Serve with sour cream, cheese, and whatever else you like with it. It makes a lot and I usually end up freezing half. Oh, and wine is always good with it.
Here’s a close-up of this beautiful dinner. YUM!