Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Our office had its annual Chili Cook-off yesterday and I was coerced at the last minute to participate. Having never really made chili before, I turned to my mom for a good recipe. She gave me some general directions to follow but no outright recipe, so I ended up just doing my own thing going off of her suggestions.

Since I'm usually one to specifically follow a recipe, I was worried about just throwing some ingredients together. I thought my first chili would turn out a disaster, but what do you know? It turned out great and I was voted one of the winners!

So I thought I'd share the "recipe":

1 lb. ground turkey
1 pack mild (or hot) Italian turkey sausage (usually 6 links in casing)
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
1 14.5oz can Italian style diced tomatoes
1 14.5oz can dark red kidney beans
packet of Carroll Shelby's Chili Kit seasoning
8oz water
1 onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced

Take the casings off the sausage links then brown in skillet, drain, and chop. Set aside
Brown the ground turkey, drain and chop. Set aside with sausage.
Add chopped onion and garlic to skillet (the meat drippings left in the pan add to the flavor) and cook a few minutes until the onions are tender.
Combine cooked onions, ground turkey and sausage all into a large pot.
Add tomato sauce, both cans diced tomato, chili seasoning packet, and water. Stir and simmer.
I let it simmer for a couple of hours before adding the kidney beans.
Once it's all heated through, it's ready to eat!

To bring it in to the office the next day, I took it off heat, let it cool, then stored it in plastic container. Yesterday I brought it to work and put it in a crock pot to heat up. It was a big hit in the chili cook-off--the bowl was scraped clean and I ended up with a Crate & Barrel gift card as my prize!

Note: Italian sausage gives it some kick. I'm not a big fan of spicy foods so I went with 'mild' sausage but if you like spicy you can try the 'hot' kind. I also went with turkey since I think it tastes better, but you could use ground beef and pork sausage to change it up.

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