Hurricane Turkey Chili
“‘Come in,’ she said, ‘I’ll give you shelter from the storm.” -Bob Dylan
I like storms. They are an excellent excuse to stay inside, watch movies, and hang out with friends. I even like when the power goes out (temporarily), since cocktails by candlelight is one of my very favorite pastimes. As long as you have good company, storms can be rather cozy and romantic. So, I was kind of excited when I first heard about the approaching “Frankenstorm” last week*
Honestly, I wasn’t all that worried about Sandy, since Irene turned out to be a total tease. In preparation for Irene, I went wiiiiild. I stocked up on groceries for a week and bought enough booze to fill a bathtub. And then nothing happened. Seriously. It rained for a few hours, the wind blew a little bit, and that was that. Lame.
Therefore, when people started making a fuss about Sandy last week, I was just like…WHATEVER. I refused to be a storm alarmist. However, as much as I didn’t want to give into the hurricane hype, I figured it was probably better to be safe than sorry. Whether or not the apocalypse was actually coming, there was going to be bad weather, and I was going to need something fabulous to eat. After some brief deliberation, I decided to make a giant pot of turkey chili because it’s simple, comforting, and delicious. Hurricane chic, if you will.
For the record, hurricane shopping is the WORST. I had to resist the overwhelming urge to get into the fetal position as soon as I walked into my local D’Agostino on Sunday afternoon. It was effing mayhem. Wall-to-wall people, lines snaking through every aisle, and worst of all, many shoppers were in their pajamas. In public. Disasters really bring out the worst in people. Also, based on what I saw in various shopping baskets, many of these hot messes were planning to survive on fun-size snickers, beef jerky, and string cheese for the next week. Not hurricane chic.
Luckily, I brought my roommate storm shopping with me, which made the process much more efficient. I made my way through the crowds gathering ingredients for my chili and some other essentials while Logan waited in the forty-minute line. (He wasn’t allowed to shop because when I asked him what snacks he wanted he said “pigs in a blanket.” Clearly he could not be trusted).
When the storm hit Monday night, I was happily bundled up with a cocktail and a large bowl of turkey chili. In the spirit of full disclosure, I made this chili when we still had power, but I totally could have pulled it off without it. So, if you’re still without electricity (I am), get thee to a grocery store (above 28th street) and get cooking! I’m guessing you have a gas stove, so just turn it on and light it with a match.** My roommate and I pulled off all kinds of awesome meals using this method. Plus, you only need one pot to make this chili, which is helpful since doing dishes in the dark (or in the light) is a total bitch.
If you do not live in New York, or you are one of the lucky people who have power, this chili is an excellent anytime meal! Make this your game day go-to (if you happen to care about football) or your signature cold-weather comfort food. And I’m sure there will be another storm in the future when this recipe will come in handy. Nature is crazy like that.
Turkey Chili: (Serves 6)
Preparing your chili:
-Chop the onion and pepper into a small dice. Mince the garlic.
-Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic and sauté about 3 minutes over medium heat, until they are just tender.
-Add the ground turkey and break up with a wooden spoon or spatula while cooking until the meat is no longer pink (about 5 minutes).
-Add the diced tomatoes, tomato puree, pinto and kidney beans, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin and oregano. Mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil then lower to a simmer and cover with a lid. Allow the mixture to simmer for at least an hour.
-Spoon the chili into bowls and top with sour cream and cheddar to your liking. Easy enough for you?
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