Turkey Chili

It’s chili weather out here. A “storm” landed in the San Francisco area tonight so we decided it was time to whip up a batch of our favorite turkey chili to warm ourselves while we watched the Giants win. Storms, by the way, in the Bay Area just mean it’s raining. No thunder…no lightning…people are real lightweights about weather around here. Anyway, I’ve made a lot of chili in my time, and it’s all great, but this is a few notches above all the others.

The chili’s modeled after a recipe for Famous Dave’s Route 66 Truck Stop Chili, substituting ground turkey for the beef that’s normally used. It goes perfectly with with a huge slab of cornbread and a nice little carafe of rich Napa cabernet. I’m warming up already.


Yield: 6 to 8 servings

  • 3 pounds (80/20) coarse ground beef (or turkey)
  • 2 teaspoons Famous Dave’s Steak seasoning
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Maggi seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 large jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans hot chili beans
  • 1 (22-ounce) can tomato juice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1 (10-ounce) can beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons Famous Dave’s BBQ sauce (any BBQ sauce will do)
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • sour cream, for topping (optional)
  • crackers, for topping (optional)
  • cheddar cheese, for topping (optional)
  1. Combine ground beef, steak seasoning, chili powder, black pepper, cumin, Maggi, basil and garlic powder in a stockpot and mix well. Cook until the ground beef begins to turn a crusty brown, stirring frequently. Add celery, onion, green pepper and jalapeno. Cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Add undrained chili beans, tomato juice, undrained tomatoes, tomato puree, broth, BBQ sauce, Kahlua and Worcestershire sauce and mix well. Simmer until of the desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Ladle into chili bowls. Serve with shredded Cheddar cheese, minced onion, source cream and plenty of crackers.

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