Everybody loves my chili, so when I make it, I make a big pot of it. The following recipe will make a huge pot (I cook it in my 12 quart stock pot). This freezes beautifully, though, so do not be afraid of leftovers - just freeze single serving portions and anyone in the family can have a yummy meal in minutes. Of course, it always goes fast when I make it. In our family of four, we have it one night as chili and corn bread, one night as chili nachos (with Frito scoops) and one night as chili spaghetti.
Monica's Famous Three Bean Chili
3 lbs 97% lean ground turkey
2 large onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 7 ounce cans chopped green chiles (or @1 cup of fresh equivalent)
1/2 cup chili powder
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (more to taste)
1 tablespoon ground red pepper (more to taste)
3 14.5 ounce can stewed tomatoes
2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 28 ounce cans tomato sauce
1 30 ounce can refried beans (this is an alternate thickening agent, compared to tomato paste, this makes a less sweet and very savory sauce for the chili – my secret tip that makes this chili awesome!)
2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained
2 cans black beans, drained
2 cans pinto beans, drained
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste (note - three colored pepper corns freshly ground into this is awesome!)
In a large 12 quart stock pot, brown meat, onion, garlic, green chilies, and 1/2 of all the spices. When adding spices, I sprinkle part over the top of the raw meat as it is beginning to brown. I then stir the meat mixture, add more seasoning, allow to brown some more, then repeat a third time. This allows the meat to absorb the seasoning well, and helps to break the meat into small pieces. Once the meat is thoroughly browned, mix in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and remaining spices. Once this is combined well, stir in the refried beans (tip – to get the refried beans out in one piece, use the can opener on both sides of the can. When the second end is opened, the beans will slide out in one piece). Carefully stir in the refried beans, making sure there are no lumps and the beans melt completely into the sauce. Mix in the kidney, black, and pinto beans and allow to simmer for about five minutes. At this point, you need to taste test, and if needed, add additional seasoning. If you have the desired flavor, stir in the cilantro and allow to simmer for about twenty minutes, minimum (the longer it cooks to more developed the flavor will be).
When serving the chili, have some great toppings, like onion, cheese, cilantro, olives, sour cream, corn chips, or corn bread. This will be sure to please anyone – those who want more of a chili-nachos and those who prefer traditional chili and cornbread (or those like me who happily have both corn chips and corn bread along with the chili!). One taste of this Three Bean Chili and you will definitely agree, it is some "Southern Love in Your Tummy!"
Ya'll come back for more great recipes in my series, Southern Love in Your Tummy.