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Favorite Chili

Is there anything cozier than curling up with a big bowl of steamy chili on a cold night?  With this arctic chill that’s moved in, we need recipes like these to keep our bones warm!  You’ll especially love it because you can prep everything the night before, and just toss the ingredients into your crock pot before heading off to work in the morning.  Dinner will be ready and waiting to greet you when you come home… worn out, cold, and hungry!

Like any great chili recipe, this one has evolved over the years.  My mom made an incredible vegetarian chili chock full of beans and edamame when I was growing up.  It was always one of my favorite dinners, and the base of this recipe comes from her.  My husband’s chili is comprised almost entirely of meat (various cuts of pork and beef) with some onions and garlic, and his signature splash of cognac.  I’ve adopted his use of cognac, and I include ground turkey to give this chili a heartier quality.  I hope you take this recipe and morph it into your own creation over time, adding in and removing ingredients to your liking, to make your “Favorite Chili”!

Favorite Chili
Yield:  8 dinner servings
Time:  20 minutes active; 2-8 hours total (in crock pot)

For the chili:
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
3 white onions, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
28 oz. crushed tomatoes
30 oz. sliced stewed tomatoes (no salt added, preferably)
30 oz. dark red kidney beans
30 oz. pink beans
15 oz. small red beans
15 oz. small white beans
6 oz. tomato paste
28 oz. tomato sauce
4 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. smoked paprika (or paprika)
¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cumin
3 tbsp. cognac
4 links chicken and/or turkey sausage (photo at end)
1½ lbs. ground turkey
14 oz. frozen shelled edamame, thawed

For serving/garnish (if desired):
4 to 8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
2 large bunches scallions and/or chives, chopped
½ red onion, finely diced
sour cream

1.  Place the garlic, peppers, onions, and 1 tbsp. olive oil in a sauté pan.  Cook over medium heat until softened, about 5-8 minutes.  Transfer to a crock pot.

2.  Place the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil and the ground turkey into the sauté pan.  Cook over medium heat until fully cooked, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes total.  Transfer to the crock pot.

3.  Meanwhile, chop the sausages into bite-sized pieces.  Add to the crock pot.

4.  Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the edamame to the crock pot.  Mix well, then set on high and leave for 2-4 hours.  (Or you could set the crock pot to cook on the low setting and leave it for 8 hours.)

5.  About 30 minutes to one hour prior to serving, toss the edamame in and stir.  (I find that if I add them too early they get a bit mushy.  I prefer if they’re a little crunchy.)

6.  Transfer to serving bowls and top with any garnishes you like.  Enjoy!

PDF to Print Recipe for Favorite Chili

Here’s a photo of the Applegate Fire Roasted Red Pepper Chicken and Turkey Sausages that I love using in this recipe:

Favorite ChiliFavorite Chili