Amber Lager, Free-Range Turkey and Bean Chili!

Yes, it’s a healthy, BEER-FILLED punky chili to enjoy with friends and fill your tiny apartment with the most incredible aromas!  Witness: Amber Lager, Free-Range Turkey and Bean Chili! (Yeah, I know, I’ve got to find a catchier name for this one…)

Are you drooling, yet? I am, and I just finished TWO bowls of this stuff!

Are you drooling, yet? I am, and I just finished TWO bowls of this stuff!

Yes, it’s like the greatest chili you will ever taste, AND it’s healthy and makes a lot, so you can enjoy it for a few days.  And the best part?  It only gets MORE flavorful as the week goes on!  This recipe is *slightly* more complicated than some, but it still only takes about 40 minutes and you will be SO proud of yourself when you pull this one off!  And in the interest of full disclosure, I did originally find this on the Food Network website, but I’ve made some changes (more beans, less turkey, better beer) so it’s Punky Chef all the way now!

TOOLS:
Big knife
Cutting board
Measuring spoons
Strainer
Wooden spoon
Deep frying pan

INGREDIENTS:
Extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
1 Tbsp salt (kosher salt, if you want to be fancy like Ina Garten.  And really, who wouldn’t want to be like Ina?)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 roughly chopped chipotle chili in adobo sauce, plus 1 Tbsp of its juice:

I found it where the salsas and salad dressings are - good luck! Click here to go to Embasa site.  NOTE: Garbage bowl and part of big knife and toaster oven in background... :-)

I found it where the salsas and salad dressings are. Click pic to go to Embasa site.

1/2 lb ground Free-Range turkey (why am I capitalizing “Free Range?”  ‘Cause I’m excited, I guess.)
1 reg size bottle Dos Equis Amber lager
1 large can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
1 reg can (15 oz) kidney beans
1 reg can (15 oz) black beans

OPTIONAL:
Shredded cheese (cheddar, jack)
Sour cream
Avocado
Rye bread

RECIPE:
Okay so like I said, this one’s a little more complicated, but believe me it’s SO worth it.  Just put on some good tunes (may I suggest of course
the happy problem’s debut EP?) and get ready to rock-out as you make this chili.

First chop the onion and cloves of garlic, (see TIPS section on recommended onion and garlic chopping), then swirl the olive oil around the pan three times and turn heat on medium high.  Wait 30 seconds for oil to heat, then put in onion, garlic, Tbsp salt, tsp chili powder, and tsp oregano.  Cook about 3 minutes, as onions soften and colors mix.

Add Tbsp tomato paste and chipotle chili with Tbsp sauce and stir around for 1 more minute.  (I will admit that these two parts are a quandary for me, because you need so little of them for this recipe and then what to do with the leftovers?  I’ve tried freezing them and that works pretty well, but of course you then have to plan ahead before you make the chili again so they thaw out in time!  I guess I just need to make some more recipes with tomato paste and chipotle chilies so we don’t have to waste them, eh?  Go Punky Chef, go!)

Add 1/2 lb turkey (about half a package – usually two mounds in a pack of ground turkey, so you’re using one mound.)  (How poetic is THAT, eh?)  Break-up the turkey with your wooden spoon (get it as small as you can) and stir it around until most of the pink is gone – about 3 minutes.

Here comes the best part!  Add the LAGER, stir it in and leave for about 8 minutes, until it reduces by half.  While the chili’s simmering, pour the two cans of beans into a strainer and rinse with water.  You can also do the dishes you used so far.  (Again, see the TIPS section for my thoughts on cleaning…)

You’re almost done!  Go team!  Go team!

Pour the diced tomatoes and beans into the pan, stir in with everything, and let simmer for about 15 minutes so it all thickens.  Don’t worry – it’s gonna look really watery at this point:

"Oh woe is me, how will this ever THICKEN?"

"Oh woe is me, how will this ever THICKEN?"

But, KEEP THE FAITH!  Because the liquid is evaporating slowly and the starch from the beans is also helping to thicken things up a bit.  (At least I read that on some internet recipe site.)  Point is, soon you will have a scrumptious, thick, and fragrant amber lager turkey bean chili!

Ahhh, she was right.  It WORKED!

Ahhh, she was right. It WORKED!

Right?  And then you can add TOPPINGS like shredded cheese, (tonight we used garlic jack from the Farmer’s Market, but cheddar also works well), sour cream, and even some eye-pleasing avocado!

Also from the Farmer's Market!

Also from the Farmer's Market!

And I also recommend some yummy rye or pumpernickel bread to scoop-up your lovely creation and deliver to your deserving taste buds!  Who needs spoons, after all?  And so now we come to my favorite part at Punky Chef…

SERVE and ENJOY!

wuv,
Sam

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