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Scott’s Second-Place Lowfat Chili

Scott Keimig

Origin: North American, Category: Main Dishes
Prep time: 30 minutes, Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes, Servings: 12

Description: This recipe makes a thick, reasonably spicy, low fat chili with lots of tomato essence. I think it’s both hearty and healthy. It placed second in the NCI-F 2009 Annual Chili competition.

4 lb ground turkey (coarse grind is preferred)
3 cups chopped onion
6 cloves chopped garlic
3 chipotle peppers (canned in adobo sauce) chopped (heat can vary)*
3-4 bell peppers (yellow or red) chopped
5 cups chopped tomatoes (canned is fine – if fresh add 15 oz of tomato sauce)
3 - 15 oz cans Bush's Chili Magic Texas Medium Hot Chili Starter (or canned beans of your choice)**
1-3 bottles dark beer*** or similar volume chicken or vegetable stock
2 oz olive oil
5 TBS commercial chili powder mix
2 TBS paprika
1 TBS dried Thyme
1 TBS dried Oregano
3 TBS ground Cumin
2 TSP ground black pepper
4 whole bay leaves
1/8 tsp Mexican chile arbol powder (be careful here)*
Sea salt to taste
1 bunch chopped cilantro leaves

Add olive oil to heated pot. Add lean meat (you can substitute/combine other lean protein sources such as pork, buffalo or soy burger for turkey) to pot & brown stirring regularly. After five minutes add onion, bell pepper & garlic. When meat is browned add commercial chili powder, paprika, cumin, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, Mexican arbol chile pepper, black pepper, & sea salt. Cook 15 minutes stirring frequently. Add remaining ingredient (except cilantro). Bring to boil then reduce to simmer for 90 minutes (or longer), stirring frequently. 15 minutes prior to serving, add chopped cilantro. If you like a more liquid chili, add beer or stock. You can eat the day of preparation, but I think it tastes better if put in the fridge and reheated. Yield: 12 servings (freezes well)

* Note – above is the NCI competition recipe (where judges penalize “excessive” heat). I personally would use the entire can of chipotles (~ 6 peppers/can) and all adobo sauce. Like all jalapeños, chipotles vary widely in heat – take into account you can always add more heat, but once it’s in, it’s in for good! The chile arbol is optional, but this is the amount I used in the competition recipe (hot!! stuff). You can find it in Latin American food stores – I’ve had one package for 2 years; believe me, it doesn’t lose heat over time.
** I don’t want to start any chili war – the beans should be omitted for those favoring southwestern style chili. I’m from the Midwest, and we eat beans in our chili, (and we also favor ground pork or buffalo over turkey).
*** I used one bottle of Becks Dark beer in the competition recipe – use 3 bottles if you want a more fluid chili. In any event, it’s essential that all unused beer go into the chili cook – it’s a sin to waste.

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