But here is the problem…everybody thinks their chili recipe is the best recipe ever. You make chili the way you want to eat it. And the way you want to eat it may not be the way everyone else wants to eat it. Because of this, I have always been hesitant to enter chili cooking contests. I don’t want to come to learn that my favorite chili recipe is the one everybody else hates. So when my team at work decided to have a chili cook off, I had a big decision to make.
#1 – Do I go with the classic chili that I love?
#2 – Do I play a wildcard and make a chili that no one on my team has ever tasted?
I decided to go with option #2 in hopes that my chili would be unique enough to stand out from the rest of the competition and win the title of Quality Assurance Chili Cook Off Champ.
After talking it over with Sarah, we decided to make a chili that we have made once before and loved…Turkey Apple Chili!
Now…I know what you are probably thinking.
“Turkey and apples in chili?! This is America dang it! We don’t put apples in chili!”
I know it may sound kind of weird, but trust us on this one. It is so freaking good. This chili recipe even helped inspire the turkey apple sloppy joe’s that we recipe made! Ground turkey, apples, cheddar cheese and tomatoes – it’s like these ingredients were made for each other!
Turkey Apple Chili
Total Time: 1 hour
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 lb ground turkey
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 large cinnamon stick
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup apple cider
15 oz black beans
15 oz garbanzo beans
30 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 granny smith apples, chopped
4 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
- Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven or sauce pan. Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up the meat until browned.
- Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the chili powder, cumin, paprika, cinnamon and the salt and pepper.
- Add the apple cider and turn the heat to high. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until most of the liquid from the cider evaporates.
- Bring the heat back down to medium. Stir in the beans, fire roasted tomatoes, and crushed tomatoes.
- Add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick
- Allow the chili to simmer at medium-low heat for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick before serving
- Serve with chopped apples and sharp white cheddar cheese.
As soon as I walked into work with my crock pot of turkey apple chili, the wall of chili aroma hit me! Check this out!
This was some serious competition. We all judged each other’s chili based on appearance, aroma, consistency, taste and after taste. It was so much fun to try everybody’s chili!
Like I said before, everybody’s chili is different and everyone thinks that theirs is the best. Some were tomato heavy, some were bean heavy, some were like Texas sludge chili, and there was even a white chicken chili in the competition. Everybody did a fantastic job and we all had a lot of fun…but there can only be one winner:
My strategy worked! Though a lot of my co-workers were hesitant to try turkey chili topped with apples, they all gave it great reviews! This winning recipe is a keeper!!! You must give it a try!
What do you like best about your own chili recipe?