Turkey Chili with Rice
Chili is great on cold and hot days. To make it healthier use lean ground turkey meat in combination with those wonderful beans and spices. If you want to make it even healthier, try brown rice.
Beans you can use: red or pink beans are traditional, but you can also use cannellini or other white beans
alone or in combination.
- 2 pounds of any combination of canned beans
- 1 small onion, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup bean-cooking liquid, vegetable stock, or water
- 1 fresh or dried hot chili, seeded and minced, or to taste (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste (optional)
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves or
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid if you choose to use it.
Add all the remaining ingredients except the cilantro. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Coverand turn the heat down to low.
Cook, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid if necessary, until the beans are very tender and the flavors have mellowed, about 15 minutes.
While the beans are cooking, put 1 tablespoon neutral oil, like canola or corn, in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add 1 pound hand-chopped or ground beef, pork, turkey, or chicken and cook, stirring, until the meat has lost its color, about 10 minutes. Season the meat with salt, pepper, and about 2 teaspoons chili powder or to taste. Stir it into the beans along with the other ingredients.
Taste, adjust the seasoning, and garnish with cilantro.
Serve with rice, crackers, or tortilla chips and bottled hot sauce. . Top with freshly grated cheddar or other semi hard cheese if you like.
Chili with Tomatoes. This simple addition makes a big difference; you might also add 1 /4 teaspoon or so of ground cinnamon: Substitute 2 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomato (canned is fine; don’t bother to drain) for the bean or other liquid. Cook carefully, adding a little more liquid if needed.
The method described here will work well for any kind of white rice. It is, like all grains, vastly better
when made with stock or other liquid. You can cook rice ahead, Keep it warm over the lowest heat
possible, or wrap the pot in a towel.
- 1 & ½ cups white rice
- Large pinch salt
Put the rice in a small saucepan with water to cover by about 1 inch.
Add the salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then adjust the heat so the mixture boils steadily
but not violently.
When small craters appear, lower the heat a bit more and, when all visible moisture disappears, turn off the
heat entirely—this will be 10 to 15 minutes after you started.
At this point you can serve the rice (it will be moist but fine) or cover it, with the heat off or at an absolute
minimum, and let it sit for 15 or even 30 minutes, during which time it will become a bit drier
Add dried herbs or spiced to the water while cooking.
Substitute stock or juice for all or part of the water.
Gently fold in fresh herbs into the rice after it is cooked.