Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, Guinness and Roasted Poblanos
This chili is great, and even though the image above doesn't really prove it, it's actually a really great-looking bowl of chili too. It's also exceedingly nutritious and healthy--ground turkey breast, butternut squash, homemade roasted poblanos and lots of healthy flavor additions. One of those additions is Guinness, which adds a little something extra to the mix and nicely deglazes your pot, although you won't be able to distinguish it in the finished product.
This is similar to a chili recipe I posted years ago, which used sweet potatoes instead of squash and no Guinness. Ingredients and method also vary, but the biggest difference is that this one makes a really big batch. I love that. Freeze some. Chili defrosts really well.
I have to mention one last thing: I bought a fairly large butternut squash and felt a heavy sense of dread when I thought about the work of peeling and chopping it. For some reason, I was unaware how easy it is to peel these gourds with a decent vegetable peeler. They are also easier to chop than sweet potatoes. Plus, I had plenty of squash for the chili AND was able to stash 2 to 3 cups in a freezer bag to use for risotto or pasta sometime in the future. I also love that.
Healthy Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, Guinness and Roasted Poblanos
Chopping the squash and roasting the poblanos a day ahead made this dish very manageable. As far as the spices are concerned, you should taste as you go and adjust the quantities if you like. Instead of toasting and grinding the whole cumin seeds and cloves, you can substitute 2 Tbs of pre-ground cumin and 1/4 tsp pre-ground cloves. If you can’t find fresh poblanos or don’t have time to roast them, don’t substitute jarred red peppers (although freshly roasted red or green bell peppers would be okay); instead, add about a Tbs of ancho chile powder, or chipotle chile powder (to taste) if you like more heat.
2 Tbs canola or olive oil
2 white onions, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbs mild chile powder
2 1/2 Tbs cumin seeds plus 4 whole cloves, toasted and ground
2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
2 tsp ground allspice
2 Tbs double concentrated tomato paste
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can or bottle Guinness stout
1/4 cup unsweetened natural (not Dutch) cocoa powder
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 (14 oz.) cans fire-roasted tomatoes
1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped (about 5 cups or 1 3/4 lbs)
2 lbs lean ground turkey
2 (14 oz) cans low-sodium black beans, rinsed
4 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled and chopped (some seeds removed)
8 oz V8 juice
Minced chipotles in adobo sauce (a must for adding major heat plus smoky flavor to the relatively mild chili)
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot (at least 6 quarts) on medium-high. Add onion, season with salt and pepper and cook until soft. Add chile powder, cumin/clove mixture, oregano and allspice; stir well and continue cooking until onion is very soft and lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes total. Add tomato paste and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring almost constantly. Add Guinness and bring to a simmer. Add cocoa and simmer until reduced by about half. Add crushed and fire-roasted tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add squash. Adjust heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook, covered, until squash is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet on medium-high and coat with cooking spray. Add turkey, season with salt and pepper and cook, crumbling with your spatula, until no pink remains (you may need to do this in 2 batches). Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, cover with another paper towel and press gently to remove any grease.
Add turkey, beans, poblanos and V8 to chili. Stir well, cover and cook just until warmed through. Check seasoning one last time and adjust as needed. Serve immediately with accompaniments. Or transfer to a crock pot set to warm for up to 4 hours. Or cool at room temperature, cover and refrigerate overnight; reheat gently on stove top.