Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lean & Mean Smoked Turkey Chili

Sven sure makes a lean, mean batch of chili...not to mention Sven also has a "little helper" to add to the dish. Smoked Sven made for a delicious smoky, meaty deliciousness. Sven's helper added the secret touch.

Let's just say that Sven's "little helper" is yet another secret ingredient to add to my chili making arsenal. It is something that I like to sneak into any smoked meat recipe. I just never thought about using it in chili until today. You don't have to use it if you choose, but you might want to consider it before you knock it down. It just adds a little, hmm, how do you say it? Maybe like that terrible McDonald's sculpture commercial, my chili has a certain "Je Ne sais quoi" to it. Do I have your attention? Are you guessing before you read down? Well then, I'll just cut to the chase, since I know I have you on the edge of your chili making seats now. The secret ingredient is- BOURBON. Yes, good ol' Kentucky bourbon. Not enough to get you drunk, unless you take a few pulls after you add it to the chili. Just enough to make one say, "Hmm. What is that lovely depth of flavor?" Pretty crafty eh?

Lean & Mean Smoked Turkey Chili

1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
3 tablespoons bourbon
4 cups chopped smoked turkey (or left-over Thanksgiving turkey)
1 28 oz. can tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz. can diced chili ready tomatoes
1 14.5 oz. can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 14.5 oz. can chili beans, in chili gravy (do not drain)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon garam masala

Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally until the onions become translucent (about 3-4 minutes). Add the bell pepper, celery, and carrots. Cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the bourbon, stirring to break up any brown bits that have formed at the bottom of the pan. Cook for one minute or until the bourbon begins to slightly evaporate. Add the turkey and the remaining ingredients and stir until incorporated. Bring the chili up to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.


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