Friday, April 20, 2012

Chili a la Cochran

 By Peg Cochran

The unseasonably warm weather has taken a turn, and a chill has returned to the air (snow is not unusual in April in Michigan) which means there's one more chance to have CHILI!  It's one of hubby's favorites and something he can eat bowls and bowls of.  We  like our chili thick but if you prefer it to be more like soup, you can add up to a cup of water to this recipe.

I like to use three different kinds of beans, but you can use whatever you prefer.  The more beans, the healthier, right?
Beans, beans, the musical fruit...

This chili has a nice smokey flavor to it and isn't too terribly hot. It has two "secret" ingredients that enrich the flavor--a chipotle chili (a smoked jalapeno) and some cocoa powder! 

A chipotle chili gives your dish a nice smokey flavor
The secret ingredient--will anyone guess?

We serve it over rice (brown since we're trying to be healthy!) but it's good over small pasta like elbows or ditalini.  Or even just plain!  Top with a dab of low fat sour cream and some reduced fat grated cheese, and even Gigi from my Gourmet De-Lite series would approve!

1.25 lbs. ground turkey (or lean beef if you prefer)
1 chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, pressed (I never mince--I always use a garlic press for maximum ease!)
2 tsps. olive oil
2.5 TBL chili powder
Simmer for 30 minutes
2 tsps unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsps dried oregano
2 tsps ground cumin
salt to taste
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 dried chipotle chili

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven and add onion and garlic.  Saute until onion softens.  Add turkey and cook until turkey loses its raw color.  Make a well in the center of the turkey/onions and add spices.  Heat for a minute to bring out flavor.  Mix in the rest of the ingredients and bury chipotle chili in the middle.  

Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes to meld flavors.  Remove chipotle chili before serving.
Top with sour cream and grated cheese!

My ebook Confession Is Murder is available now on Amazon.  It features middle-aged "Jersey girl" Lucille Mazzarella who is an amazing cook and still believes in Sunday dinner for the family!  Check it out at


  1. This looks great, Peg! I use cocoa in my chili, too, but usually use ancho chili powder rather than a chipotle ... will absolutely have to try that next time. Love that smoky flavor (it's particularly hard to get with vegetarian dishes).

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I don't think I've ever used a chipotle chili--is it fresh or the kind that's canned in adobe sauce? we do love chili in our house...

  3. I buy them dried in bags at the grocery store. They also come in adobo sauce--I imagine you could easily use that, too. Just gear it to your personal "heat" level!

  4. I'm one of those people who thinks that rice and pasta aren't necessary -- just bring on the chili. Don't need sour cream or cheese (don't tell Avery, please,), either. Love the ground turkey in this, Peg!

    ~ Krista

  5. We enjoy it with ground turkey and haven't used ground beef in ages. Cuts the fat just that little bit and since chili is so flavorful, you don't even notice.

  6. Krista, I'm with you. Don't need the extras when it comes to chili.

    Peg, this sounds great with turkey!