Copycat Recipe of Panera Bread's Turkey Chili

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Ingredients(serves 6-8)

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 pounds ground turkey (93/7)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped small
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small matchsticks
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 (4oz) can chopped green chiles 
  • 1 (28oz) can petite diced canned tomatoes 
  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste 
  • 1 box (32oz) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 (16oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 1 (16oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup corn (drain if canned)
  • 2/3 cup shelled frozen edamame 
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 
  • Juice of 1 large lime (probably just under 1/4 cup for a large lime)
  • 1 cup tortilla strips

Written Method:

Step 1 - Turkey.  Brown the turkey in the EVOO in a heavy pot or dutch oven, crumbling as it cooks; but leave it chunky enough to look like chili.  Turkey is so soft that if you aren't careful, it can completely break up so much that it will look like sand. 

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 pounds ground turkey (93/7)

Step 2 - Mirepoix.  When the turkey is about two thirds of the way brown, add the mirepoix (chopped onions, celery and carrots).  Saute the vegetables on medium heat for about ten minutes until they are soft. 

  • 2 medium onions, chopped small
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small matchsticks
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped fine

Step 3 - Seasoning.  Basically, just dump all the seasonings in there.  

  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic powder 

Step 4 - Flavor Base.  Now that the meat is flavorful and the vegetables are soft, add in the liquids and thickeners.  These are the things that deepen the flavor.

  • 1 (4oz) can chopped green chiles 
  • 1 (28oz) can petite diced canned tomatoes 
  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste 
  • 1 (32oz) box chicken or vegetable stock

Step 5 - Textural Elements.  These are healthy, colorful, textural components that also add a ton of fiber and vitamins and "goodness" to the pot.  

  • 1 (16oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 1 (16oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup corn (drain if canned)
  • 2/3 cup shelled frozen edamame 

Step 6 - The Finishing Touches.   Bring out those amazing Tex-Mex flavors with fresh cilantro and a big dose of acidity from the lime juice to brighten it all up.    The tortilla strips will disappear after about ten minutes and act as a thickener.

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 
  • Juice of 1 large lime (probably just under 1/4 cup for a large lime)
  • 1 cup tortilla strips

Serve plain or with your favorite garnishes!  I suggest cornbread muffins as an accompaniment.