1) I have an insatiable craving for warm stews and chili,
2) I get insanely busy as the concert season enters full force,
3) The kinds of dishes that make sense for me to prepare are the kind that are made in one pot. (Thankfully, the stews and chilis mentioned in 1) above fall into this category.) Concert season means that I am rarely home nights (both weekend and weekday), and cooking time generally is in short supply. Meals that I can leave on the stove while I practice, teach, or attend to emails -- that will also keep well (or improve) over the course of a few days in the fridge -- are what I inevitably turn to this time of year.
This chili is a favorite in our house. Made with turkey and whatever kinds of beans you have on hand, its flavor benefits from liberal additions of cocoa and cinnamon. Only one tablespoon of oil in the whole dish makes it quite waistline-friendly as well. I like to serve this with cornbread in addition to the toppings mentioned below.
Turkey Bean Chili with Cocoa and Cinnamon
Adapted from Bon Appetit
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
1/4 cup chili powder
2 bay leaves
1 heaping tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
heaping 1/4 tsp groud cinnamon
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
3 cups beef stock
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
3 15-oz cans beans of your choice (such as white, black, pinto, kidney; I like to mix what I have on hand), rinsed and drained
Heat oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Saute the onions until they turn golden and tender, about 10 minutes. Add in the oregano and cumin and stir for 1 minute.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add turkey; stir until no longer pink, breaking up with back of spoon.
Stir in chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. Add tomatoes with their juices, breaking up with back of spoon. Mix in stock and tomato sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the consistency is less soupy.
Add beans to chili and simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes longer. Discard bay leaves. Serve with accompaniments like fresh cilantro, nonfat greek yogurt (or sour cream), shredded cheese, avocado, and/or chopped purple onion.
Different elements coming together to create a satisfying whole... what could be more fulfilling (or just plain filling) than that?