I will never forget the time I ordered a chili relleno at a Mexican restaurant anticipating a big bowl of chili with cheese. Boy was I wrong. The hot, white plate arrived in front of me with two stuffed poblano peppers. Peppers? For a twelve-year old, that was hugely disappointing. Till this day I still haven’t ventured into the world of chili rellenos, but I still love a big bowl of chili. Every time I go to Tennessee for Christmas, my dad makes his beef chili with corn bread in a cast iron skillet. Comforting and oh so good and still one of my favorites.
Poblano peppers are the star of this dish. I used ground white turkey meat this time because it was on sale. You can use either white or dark meat. You can’t taste a difference. What makes this chili stand out from other chili recipes is the contrast of spiciness and sweetness. The peppers and chili powder add heat while the brown sugar and cinnamon had a warmth and hint of sweetness. It’s my husband’s favorite chili, and hopefully it will be yours too.
Green poblano chiles are mild in flavor. Red poblanos are riper and hotter than the green ones. Either one will work for this recipe depending on what is available at the store.
Saute the veggies until softened.
Sweet and spice make everything nice. Add the broth and beans. Simmer away to let the flavors blend.
Fresh chopped tomatoes is the perfect garnish since there are no tomatoes cooked in the chili. Only tomato paste.
Poblano Turkey Chili
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
This chili is slightly thick with hints of spice and sweetness.
Remember table salt is not the same thing as kosher salt. Only add the full recommended 1 teaspoon of kosher salt if using low-sodium chicken broth and kosher salt. Otherwise decrease the amount of salt used in this recipe.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded and diced
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground turkey (white or dark meat)
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
2 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (15-oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
chopped tomatoes for garnish
In a dutch oven or large stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the poblano chiles, onion, and garlic. Saute for 5 to 6 minutes until the vegetables soften. Add the turkey and saute for 5 to 6 minutes, breaking up the turkey with a wooden spoon until cooked through. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, chipotle powder, brown sugar, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Stir and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth and beans. Reduce the heat to a simmer over low heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the flavors are blended.
Ladle the chili in bowls and garnish with tomatoes.