Smoky Turkey & Sausage Chili with Jalapeño & Zucchini Cornbread
It has been oddly hot the past few days. I don’t believe this actually qualifies as an “Indian Summer” because we haven’t had a sharp drop or frost yet, but the temperature has been above 80 for the past 3 days straight! I wish I knew that when I was planning this meal for last night originally. Luckily, by dinnertime it had cooled somewhat, and this was a spicy and comfortable meal for an Autumn night.
I’ve been wanting to make chili for a while, and have always been slightly daunted by it. I’ve only made one before this, but it was from someone else’s recipe. Somewhere during the thought process for this, I realized that this is no different from the preparation of a tomato sauce, but with different spices. After that I calmed down and had a good time! To keep the calories low we used a chicken sausage and ground turkey, but you can really feel free to play around with the meats, as this is a template for a basic chili.
The cornbread was something from Cook Live Eat Vegetarian, by way of The Kitchn. It gave me an opportunity to use a spare zucchini we had on hand as well as some jalapeños. It paired nicely with the chili and kept things savory and spicy.
Smoky Turkey & Sausage Chili (Serves 6)
- 1.3 lbs ground turkey breast
- 2 links smoky chicken sausage (we used “Chipotle Chorizo”), halved and sliced diagonally
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapeño chiles, seeded, halved, and sliced
- 1 bottle dark beer
- 1 25 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 25 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 25 oz. can red kidney beans, drained
- 3 tbsp. chili powder, divided
- 1 tbsp. ancho chile powder
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil
- garnishes (grated cheese, chopped scallion, chopped cilantro, diced avocado, sour cream, etc.)
- In a heavy bottomed large pot (dutch oven is best), heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned on all sides. Remove sausage with slotted spoon and set aside in the refrigerator for later.
- Add onion, garlic, and jalapeños to pot along with a pinch of salt. Cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add 2 tbsp. chili powder and cook for another minute, then add the turkey.
- Cook until turkey is fully cooked through, stirring to keep things even. Pour in beer and stir to scrape up any browned bits on bottom of pot. Let come to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add both cans of tomatoes, cocoa, cinnamon, and another pinch of salt and stir to combine. Bring up to a boil and then down to a simmer. Cover, and cook over low heat for 1 – 1.5 hours.
- Uncover pot, add beans and rest of spices, and turn heat up to medium-low to maintain your simmer. Cook another 30-45 minutes, add sausage pieces, vinegar and adjust seasoning, and serve immediately with garnishes and cornbread (below).
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 medium)
- 2 eggs
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 jalapeños, seeded, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 cup grated cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a loaf pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients (milk through the jalapeños) and whisk to mix evenly. In another bowl combine remaining ingredients thoroughly.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until *just* combined. Do not overmix.
- Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in loaf pan for 15-20 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely before serving.