Sunday, March 10, 2024

Our Favorite Chili

 Memory plays a role in a lot of food preferences and this chili is no different. I think I started making chili this way...or close to this way...when I first started living with Sweetie. When you are a working Mom, you find a way to plan dinner meals that can be made ahead and reheated or started in the morning in a Crock Pot or Instant Pot using the slow cooker feature. You also learn how to put something together in 30 minutes or less, but that's for another post.

I prefer to make this chili on a day when I have some time, even though it goes together in about 30 minutes. That way I can turn the heat to simmer and let it cook for a while and become thicker. If it is also made a day or two in advance, I know that it will taste even better reheated because that seems to be one of the great things about cooking with onions...dishes taste better if allowed to sit in the fridge a day or so before eating.

I like to use ground turkey for this, but you can use any ground meat you prefer...or leave out the meat altogether. It goes together really quickly because you are using a packet of seasonings, canned tomato sauce, canned diced tomatoes and their juice, and canned kidney and canned black beans. If you have the time you can dice some onion and sauté it before cooking the ground meat but it's fine without it if you are in a hurry or can't be bothered. After all, this is meant to be a quick and easy dish!

Easy Chili
Elle's recipe

1/2 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon neutral oil
1 pound ground turkey (or beef if preferred)
1 tablespoon neutral oil
1 packet chili mix
1 15oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can cooked black beans, drained
1 15 oz. can cooked kidney beans, drained

In a large pan sauté the onion in the neutral oil with a wooden spoon until onion is translucent. Remove onions to a plate and wipe the pan of onion residue.

In the same pan, wiped, sauté the ground turkey, breaking it up into chunks and small pieces as you stir and cook it, until turkey is no longer pink. Some pieces will be browned. Return the onions to the pan.

To the turkey mixture, add as much of the chili mix packet as you like. I usually go with half the packet, but some folks like it hotter or spicier. Stir to combine and continue to sauté another minute, stirring.

Add the can of diced tomatoes and juice to the pan and stir and scrape with the wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits. Stir them into the mixture. Add the cans of tomato sauce, black beans and kidney beans. Stir to combine.

Turn heat to lowest setting and simmer, stirring occasionally to keep bottom from scorching, for another 15-20 minutes, until chili is the thickness you prefer. If you have time, let cool and then chill in the refrigerator, covered, overnight, then reheat. If you don't have that time, serve chili piping hot with any toppings you desire...or just as is which is my favorite way.

Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days.

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