Aunt Suzy says . . .

It’s that “chili time of year”, and, not wanting to get bored with the same old-same old, I am always searching for new and different chili recipes.  I can’t say that every single new recipe I’ve made has been fabulous, but I’m not a chili purist and love experimenting.  (See our recipes on White Chili and one made with Sriracha sauce) I saw this recipe in the February Food & Wine and thought it looked worth a try. We really enjoyed it!  The original recipe, which I made a few tweaks to, was from Art Smith, a former private chef of Oprah’s.  He swears this is Oprah’s favorite chili :-). We thought it was darn good and will include it in our regular rotation when it’s chili weather!  Don’t be daunted by the number of ingredients; it was very easy to put together.


2 pounds ground turkey

2 tablespoons EV olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 red or green bell pepper, diced (I used green – red’s are pricey right now)

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2-2 tablespoons chile powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2-1 chipotle chile in adobe, rinsed, seeded and finely diced

3/4 cup good quality beer or ale (I used Rush River Winter Ale)

1 cup chicken stock or broth

1 28-ounce can tomato puree or diced tomatoes

3 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed (or 4-5 cups cooked pinto beans)

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme

Garnishes of your choice – we used just cilantro and felt it didn’t need anything else


Coat the bottom of a large Dutch oven with the olive oil and saute the onion, carrot and bell pepper until soft and beginning to brown – about 5-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute 1-2 minutes.  Add the chile powder, cumin, oregano and chipotle pepper and saute for a couple of more minutes.  Add the beer and chicken stock/broth and stir to blend all thoroughly.  Add the tomato puree or diced tomatoes, pinto beans and vinegar.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes.

While chili is simmering, brown the turkey in a large skillet over medium high heat in two batches so that it browns and doesn’t stew.  Remove the browned turkey with a slotted spoon and stir into the chili toward the end of the 45-60 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and the fresh thyme.  Delicious with corn chips or corn bread.