poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie

Chili Season


Like a lot of people, the cold weather makes me crave soups, stews, and chili. With a crock pot and crock pot cookbook in hand, I made two chilis — one last month, and one tonight (I know, it’s like I’m blogging in real time!). Both recipes came from the Rival Crock Pot cookbook, which I got for a bargain price of $6.99 at Ross last year.

The first chili is called Mama’s Beer Chili. It was actually the second time I had made it; the first time was for the Election Night party last year, where we debated whether this was called chili or Brunswick stew. Whatever it’s called, I love this recipe because it contains corn and beer, and has lots of flavor and plenty of heat. The recipe claims that it takes 20 minutes to prep everything for the slow cooking, but I think it takes more like 30 minutes. This batch was made with Trader Joe’s Seasonal Ale, a really dark beer with lots of flavor. The recipe below is essentially the directly from the cookbook except that I’ve halved the honey.

Mama's Beer Chili, before

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1.5-2 lbs ground turkey (soy meat works just as well)
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 cup dark beer
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp curry
3 Tbsp hot sauce
3 Tbsp honey
1 pkg (10-16 oz) frozen corn
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans
1/3 cup diced mild green chilies
3 beef bouillon cubes (veggie also works)
1-2 Tbsp flour, to thicken

1. Heat oil in large pan. Add onion; cook for 3 minutes on medium heat. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
2. Add turkey. Cook until turkey is no longer pink. Drain fat.
3. Add remaining ingredients and stir until mixed. Transfer to crock pot. Cook on low 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours.

Mama's Beer Chili, after, with cornbread.

The second recipe, a far simpler one, is for Three-Bean Turkey Chili. Lots of can-opening, very little prep. But the pay off isn’t as good. I had to modify this recipe a little more, adding some spice (Sriracha!), salt, and pepper. Simple changes, but made the chili much tastier.

Turkey three bean chili, before. Love the colors of the beans.

1-1.5 lbs ground turkey
1 small onion, diced
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (4 oz) chopped mild green chilies
2 Tbsp chili powder
2-3 Tbsp hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
1 tsp salt, or to taste
ground black pepper, to taste

1. Cook and stir turkey and onion over medium high heat until turkey is no longer pink. Drain, discard fat.
2. Transfer to crock pot.
3. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on high.

Turkey three bean chili, after.

For both chilis, I made cornbread using the Trader Joe’s Cornbread Mix. It was pretty good, and very easy. All you need is egg, oil, and milk, though I substituted with soy milk and it tasted great.

Finally, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get locked into eating particular foods at particular times. So when JA suggested putting chili on top of our egg sandwiches for breakfast, I was like, WHOA. It was a great idea and definitely made breakfast a lot more interesting, not to mention delicious.

The chili + egg open-faced breakfast sandwich.

Author: Jen

Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

6 thoughts on “Chili Season

  1. That breakfast sandwich is a brilliant idea! Why didn’t I ever think of doing that with my leftover chili! 🙂

  2. I would class both as pretty Brunswicky (though the Arkansas in me says it ain’t Brunswick lest it has squirrel). So, stew with chili powder?

    • So can you please define what Brunswick stew is? (besides squirrel of course!) Or, more to the point: what’s the difference between stew and chili?

  3. I love a good chili recipe for ski trips. I usually use the moosewood recipe, but both of these look great and I’d love to try ’em. Did you find you had to add more water to the second one? It doesn’t look like there are too many liquid-y ingredients.
    Another idea: my mom’s chili-corn omelet. Make a thin egg omelet. Fold into thirds with cheese (optional) and corn inside. Top with chili. Enjoy! I think we ate that for dinner every time my dad went out of town.

    • The second recipe is a little dry, esp since I put more turkey in it then the original recipe (1.5 lbs vs. 1 lb). Maybe add some water and a bouillon cube?

      The chili-corn omelet sounds delicious! Thanks for the suggestion.

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