As the Fall weather creeps in more and more, my palate begins to crave more hearty, seasonal dishes. That’s one of the great things about Fall and Winter- you can cook delicious soups, stews, and one pot meals to comfort and warm you up. Even though it isn’t exactly cold yet here in the South, I still enjoy cooking a hearty meal. My creole turkey chili is spicy, comforting, and healthy!

I’ve been cooking the same turkey chili recipe for a long time, so tonight, I thought I would switch it up a little bit. Sometimes change is good, and in this case, it is freaking delicious. I love cooking a one pot meal because first of all, it doesn’t require much clean up and secondly, it can sit on the stove and do its thing without having to be monitored constantly. This is the perfect recipe for Sunday football or having company over. I recommend allowing this chili recipe to cook for at least 2 hours so all of the flavors can be well blended.

Moreover, what’s a good meal without a nice beverage to accompany it with? One of my friends is a wine guru and he gave me some great wine pairings to go with this spicy chili recipe. His recommendations were: ย a ย Riesling- something on the sweeter side with tones of apple and isn’t oaky or dry; a Pinot Grigio such as Kris is less sweet but still has the nice, fruity elements; and New Age Wine, a South American version of a white wine that is clean, crispy, and refreshing. Little did I know that white wine would be so perfect with chili- the sweet and fruity surely balances the hot and spicy.

For this recipe you will need:

1 lb ground turkey
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, small dice
1 red bell pepper, small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup okra, sliced
1 can Original Rotel
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp tomato paste
4 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and Pepper to taste

First, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sautรฉ the onions and bell pepper until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Push the veggies to the side of the pot and add the ground turkey. Break up the turkey with a wooden spoon and cook until it begins to turn white in color. Mix with the veggies and add the okra and Rotel. Then, add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce to the pot. Fill both cans with water and add to the pot. Add the tomato paste, chili powder and next six ingredients. Give everything a big stir and bring the chili to a boil. Once a boil is reached, turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for about an hour with the lid halfway on, stirring occasionally. After the first hour, add the drained and rinsed kidney beans to the pot. The reason for adding them at a later time is because you don’t want them to become too mushy throughout the cooking process. Depending on your consistency preference, you may continue to cook the chili with the lid on so it doesn’t thicken up too much or with it off so it can continue to reduce. I like my chili somewhere in the middle of thick and thin. Like I previously stated, 2 hours is an ideal cooking time. As always, season with salt and pepper to taste!

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You may garnish your chili with whatever you’d like- cheese, green onions, chives, sour cream, tortilla chips, corn chips, etc. ย Just sit back, relax, and take it all in, my friends, because Fall is here. Bon Appetit!



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