Introduction: Texas Two-Bean Turkey Chili

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There's nothing like a nice hot bowl of spicy chili to warm you up on a cold winter night. Or spring evening. Or lunch break at work. Chili is good for pretty much anytime actually.  

This Instructable will show you how to make a big batch of chili with turkey, white beans, and black beans.

One of my favorite things about chili is the fact that with a few simple substitutions, you can create a totally different flavor. On the last page I'll go over some alterations that you can make to change it up a bit and develop your own secret recipe.

This recipe will take about an hour and a half or 2 hours to cook from beginning to end.

Step 1: Ingredients

First, you'll need your list of ingredients:

* 1 lb ground turkey meat
* 2 cans white beans (I use Great Northern)
* 1 can black beans
* 1 can tomato sauce
* 1/3 cup red wine
*1 square dark chocolate


*2 tablespoons Chili powder
*1 tablespoon Garlic
*1 tablespoon Paprika
*1 and 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
*3-4 berries Allspice
*1-3 whole Cloves
*3/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
*1 teaspoon Smoked Hot Paprika
*1/2 teaspoon Smoked Sweet Paprika
*1 teaspoon Black Pepper
*1/2 teaspoon Coriander
*1/4 teaspoon Cardamom
*1/2 teaspoon Oregano


*Spatula or large spoon
*Large pot

For really good chili I recommend grinding your own spices, when available. I bought an inexpensive coffee grinder which I use only for grinding spices. For this recipe I usually fresh grind my own Cumin, Black Pepper, Allspice, Coriander, and Cloves.

Another thing to keep in mind when making chili is the spice level. Since spiciness is such a subjective thing, if you are sensitive to spicy foods I recommend you use just a little bit of the Hot Paprika and Cayenne and taste as go until it seems right to you. If really like spicy foods, then add extra. I consider this level of spice to be a medium level for me, but my boyfriend who really likes spicy food says this is just barely warm to him.

Step 2: Step One: Brown the Meat

Set your stovetop to medium heat and add the turkey after it starts to warm up. You'll want to use the spatula or spoon to break the ground meat into smaller chunks so that it will cook faster and make smaller bites. If it starts to burn and stick to the bottom of the pan, lower the heat, otherwise, keep cooking, stirring occasionally, until it's a uniform brown color without any pink spots remaining.

I tend to use a fattier grade of turkey meat, 85/15, because I like the flavor better. If you want a slightly healthier option you can pick a leaner meat but you may need to add some cooking oil to help keep it from sticking to the pan.

Step 3: Step 2: Add the Liquids and Spices.

Once the meat is done cooking, add the tomato sauce and red wine. Fill the tomato sauce can 2/3rd the way full with water and add that too. Mix the liquids and the meat together thoroughly, then add the spices and make sure they get mixed in as well.

Cut the chocolate into small pieces, or shave it with a knife and let it melt and dissolve into the mix.

You'll want to let it simmer for about 10 or 15 minutes.

Step 4: Step 3: Add the Beans & Finish It Off.

Drain and rinse the black beans, and then add them to the chili.

The white beans are a bit softer and tend to fall apart, so I usually let the chili simmer for another 10-15 minutes and then drain and rinse the white beans and add them as well.

After all the beans have been added, let it simmer a final 10 minutes, then, once it's reached a nice level of thickness, it's done.

Eat it with some Fritos, a nice piece of cornbread, or both! Top it off with cheese, sour cream, or onions.

Step 5: Other Variations & Notes

Other ingredients and variations you could try:

*adding fresh peppers such as jalapeños or habaneros.
*sauteing onions with the meat.
*adding canned or fresh tomatoes.
*using beer instead of wine.
*adding cinnamon (use sparingly, it adds a strong flavor, similar to curry).
*use other meats, such as beef, bison, chicken, venison, or goat.
*using different types of beans.

Chili is a very flexible dish, so if there is an ingredient that I include that you're not partial to, you could quite easily remove it and likely not suffer any ill consequences.

If you want to speed up the cooking, mix a teaspoon of cornstarch or masa with enough water to make a thick paste, then mix that into the chili. It will help it thicken faster. If you want it to cook longer, cover it with a lid or add more liquid to slow the evaporation.

Factors that will affect the spiciness of the chili:

*adding fresh peppers to make it hotter.
*using more or less cayenne pepper.
*using less or removing the chocolate and wine. These items tend to mellow out the chili and slow the burn so removing them makes it spicier.

I know some Texas chili purists say that adding beans to your chili is a mortal sin. I enjoy bean-less chili just as much as the next person, however as a starving artist I've found that adding the beans is an inexpensive way to to make your chili last much longer. For two people, you can get at least 4 meals each from this recipe, if not more. It's excellent if you have a group over and want something simple that doesn't involve a lot of dishes.

I hope if you've tried this recipe out that you liked it. If you changed it up a bit, let me know what you changed and how it turned out!

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