Simple Spicy Turkey and Kale Chili

Makes 8 (1-cup) servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ pound 93% lean ground turkey
½ pound Hot Italian Turkey or Pork Sausage, removed from casing (optional)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp brown sugar, plus more to taste
1 tbsp chili powder
¼ - ½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
34 bunch (5-6 ounces) kale (stems removed and leaves chopped)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (you can substitute red beans)
 cups frozen corn kernels
Hot Sauce to taste (preferably Frank’s)

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 1½ lbs  ground turkey (or, optionally 1 lb turkey and ½ lb crumbled sausage), season with a teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Cook, breaking the meat apart into crumbles with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.

If you have some fat left in the pan, drain off all but 1 tablespoon; if you don't have any fat left, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions, season with some of the salt and pepper, and cook until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Make a well in the center of the onions and garlic, add a dollop of olive oil and add the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, oregano and remaining salt and pepper and stir, toasting briefly (about 30-45 seconds), to bloom the spices. Add the tomato paste, stirring to combine the paste with the spices and cook and stir for a minute or two to start caramelizing the tomato paste. Stir in  the diced tomatoes and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot.

Add 2 cups of chicken broth and all the meat back to the pot. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 20 minutes.

Add the kale, beans and corn and continue cooking until the kale has softened and tastes tender, but is still bright green, about 10 more minutes. Taste the chili…it will be delicious as-is.

You can add Frank’s Hot Sauce, more sugar or any additional spices to taste.