Thank you, oh great and powerful inventor of the crock pot, for all you’ve done for me on those freezing winter nights at 8pm when I come home from work with a grouchy, growling belly…for those nights I open the door to the savory, spicy smells of homemade chili that’s slow-cooked all darn day long.
The thing that rocks about the crock pot, is that even if you are off a bit on spices or measurements, somehow the many hours of slow-cooking will make it taste amazing anyway.
Here is an easy, foolproof weeknight feast. I enjoyed this particular meal with my feet up, watching my favorite show on DVR, and washed it down with an ice-cold lager. Tuesday nights aren’t so bad now, are they? :)
Rock the Pot Chili
1 pound of ground turkey
1 large onion
2 fresh jalapenos, sliced
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
½ a 7 oz. jar of sweet, red roasted peppers
A handful of chopped fresh cilantro
8 oz (or so) of fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 28-ounce can of whole tomotoes in juice, roughly chopped
½ a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 16-ounce can of red, pinto or kidney beans
1-2 Tbs. chili powder
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbs. pure cocoa powder
A couple dashes of ground cinnamon
Two swirls of olive oil in the pan
Salt & freshly cracked black pepper
I think some people just throw everything in the pot and turn it on low, but I’ve never tried that. I like to prepare it a bit first.
Here is what I do:
1. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Sautee the chopped onion for a few minutes, stirring till it softens. Add garlic, cilantro, jalapenos and stir for a couple minutes, making sure garlic doesn’t burn. Add salt, pepper, chili powder, coriander, cumin, oregano. Stir. Add mushrooms, and stir till softened. Add red roasted peppers and cilantro.
2. Now add the turkey and stir all together, browning the meat and breaking it up into bits with a wooden spoon.
3. Add the skillet contents to the crock pot. Stir into the crockpot the tomatoes, beans, cocoa and cinnamon. Gently stir to combine all ingredients, cover and cook on low for 6-10 hours. Have a nice day and, every few hours, remember that your chili is home and very happy in its pot, filling your home with yummy smells.
Turn off crock pot, stir, and take a taste. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Ladle chili into nice big bowls, and top with your choice of shredded mild white cheese, chopped scallions or onions, fresh cilantro, sour cream, avocado slices, or a hunk of corn bread….or all of the above. :) Eat, smile and feel the happy snack warmth.