Was it Worth it? Pinto Bean and (not) Turkey Chili

  • The Source: Food & Wine February 2012
  • The Menu: Turkey-and-Pinto Bean Chili *only adaptation was using lean ground beef instead of turkey. This is actually the opposite of my MO. I am constantly substituting turkey for other ground meats, but strangely this time I had fresh ground beef on hand.
  • The Background: It was 75 degrees outside — which seems crazy considering it’s October in Portland. But regardless, there were enough leaves on the ground and candy corn in the stores to make it seem like Chili Season!
  • How It Looked Naked: 

Pretty as a Picture

  • How It Looked Dressed:

Dressed to Kill

  • The Verdict: What can I say? It was easy to cook (one-pot meals rock!), made the whole house smell amazing and the leftovers tasted even better the next day. I won’t say it was the most incredible chili I’ve ever eaten, but honestly, it didn’t need to be. The fact that it was slightly spicy, belly warming and wholly satisfying was good enough.

I liked that it was filling but not heavy, even though I used beef instead of turkey. The seasonings weren’t complex but the cider vinegar and chipotle powder gave it a nice tang and kick, though I did end up using more salt and vinegar than called for since it was a bit flat at first. I also topped it with sharp cheddar cheese and green onions — a chili requirement in my book.

  • Next Time? There will definitely be a next time because I need to try it out with turkey and see if it’s just as tasty! I will probably add other goodies to it as well — I really like putting kale in dishes like this for extra veg power. Think of this recipe as a good starting point, freeing you to make additions and substitutions as you please.

I will also make the effort to bake some cornbread muffins to go with it, because that was the only thing this dish was really lacking.

Now go forth and chili out!

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4 thoughts on “Was it Worth it? Pinto Bean and (not) Turkey Chili

  1. I love chili and cornbread in the fall and winter…so comforting! We are still in the mid 80s in Hawaii…I’m actually looking forward to our rainy season (winter), so I can start making some chili, stews, and soups 🙂

    • Oh, mid-80s sounds nice! Even though it means chili probably doesn’t sound overly appealing. =) There’s just something so happy about a nice pot of stew on the stove. One of the few things I like about colder weather!

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