Updated Turkey Chili

I’ve posted my turkey chili recipe before (here), but I’ve been tweaking it a bit and think I’ve figured out just the right balance of ingredients so I figured I’d post a follow up with a more precise recipe. Most importantly, I discovered a secret ingredient – yes, secret! – and I don’t know why I’m not keeping it a secret, but I’m going to share it with y’all, right here; right now.

Here’s the recipe. Brown 1 lb ground turkey with 1 chopped onion. Transfer into a slow cooker and add 1 [14.5 oz] can diced tomatoes, a half small can of tomato paste, and 1 of the small cans of tomato juice. That’s all the liquid you’ll need, otherwise it’ll be too soupy. No need to add any stock. Now add seasonings to taste: chili powder, onion salt, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt, and white pepper. Finally, add the *secret ingredient*: brown sugar. It should also be noted that the toppings are almost as important as the chili itself. I use sour cream, shredded cheese, pickled jalapeƱos, sliced scallions, and Fritos. Fritos are an absolute must.

Adding the brown sugar was a game changer. How did I figure out this secret? Long ago a friend told me she dropped a square or two of a Hershey’s chocolate bar into her chili. I didn’t have any plain chocolate lying around so I used some brown sugar and it changed the whole vibe. It doesn’t make the chili sweet but it gives it some depth and plays really well with the chili and red pepper. You know how when you eat chili you’re like “mmm this tastes like fall?” Well, this brown sugar is what’s going to make you say that.