Sweet Italian Sausage is a personal favorite of mine. I put it in stew, we eat it for breakfast, and now I’ve hit upon a way to turn it into chili. I’m sure it would make an excellent face cream too – especially if your skin is a tad dry. To add turkey sausage to chili you’ll need to cut open the casings, but it’s worth the gooey effort. It really only takes a minute. Do me and you a favor and wash your hands and scissors REALLY well afterwards.
Turkey Sausage Chili (6-8 servings)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 pounds uncooked Sweet Italian Sausage (I use Trader Joe’s brand)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
- 1 large shallot, chopped fine
- 1 ½ cup onion, chopped fine (or one bag of Trader Joe’s chopped white onions)
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- One 15-oz can tomato sauce
- One 15-oz can chopped fire roasted tomatoes
- One 15-oz can diced tomatoes with chilies (I use fire roasted tomatoes w/chilies)
- ½ cup Masa (Mexican corn flour)
- 1 cup water
- 2 cans white pinto beans, drained (also called cannellini beans)
Heat the two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the chopped onions, the garlic, the shallot and the red pepper flakes. Brown on medium heat until the onion is soft and golden, about 10-12 minutes. Cut open the turkey sausages with a pair of kitchen scissors and squeeze the meat out of the casings. Toss the casings in the trash. Toss the meat into the pot. Brown the turkey sausage, breaking it up as you go, until the turkey is completely cooked through. No pink spots should remain.
Add the tomato sauce, both kinds of chopped tomatoes, and the spices. Stir together and let simmer for five minutes uncovered. Correct seasoning – it won’t need much salt – I think there’s enough in the sausage and the canned tomatoes. Cook uncovered on a low simmer for 45-60 minutes.
Place the masa in a medium bowl and pour in the cup of water. Blend together with a fork or a whisk until it forms a smooth paste. Add the masa to the chili and mix well.
Add the beans and cook on low for ten more minutes. Serve with whatever you like on chili. Sour cream, grated cheese, green onions or white onions all work. We like our chili over white rice or plain with a nice chunk of corn bread. You can cool the chili to room temp and freeze it.