This is a take on my mom’s classic chili, but spiced up a bit - literally and figuratively - using hot turkey sausage and a dried habanero chili for heat, chipotle peppers for smoke, and a duck fat coconut flour roux for depth and to thicken the chili just slightly. The ketchup, molasses, cinnamon and cocoa give it a rich, earthy flavor and add a subtle sweetness to balance out the spiciness. It won 2nd place at a church chili cook-off, and I promised to share the recipe :)
I’m really not big into blogs that post the recipe 18 scrolls down the page after paragraphs and paragraphs of commentary. So here it is! Try it and let me know what you think!
1 large white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
1 lb hot turkey sausage
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp duck fat
2 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 cut vegetable stock
3 15oz cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 can fiesta corn, drained
1 can kidney beans
2 cans mixed pinto and white beans
1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cocoa
1 dried habanero chili, crushed (leave this out if you don’t want it spicy)
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp molasses
Using a cast iron skillet, sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add add the beef and turkey sausage and stir until mostly browned. Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper and continue stirring until the meat is fully browned. Use a slotted spoon to move everything to a soup pot or crock pot, leaving the drippings and juices in the skillet.
To make the roux: add the duck fat, coconut flour and vegetable stock to the cast iron skillet with the drippings. Keep stirring over medium heat until it thickens, ~5 minutes. Pour the roux into the soup pot. Turn it on medium-high to bring it to a rolling simmer, let it simmer with the roux for 2 minutes and then reduce the heat to medium-low.
Add the canned tomatoes and beans.
For the chipotle peppers, drain the sauce into the soup pot, then chop up as much of the peppers as you want to use in the chili. (I used half the peppers and saved the other half for another use because I didn’t want the chili to have too much of the chipotle flavor and overpower the rest of the flavors. If you want more of a chipotle chili, then add all the peppers.)
Add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cocoa, dried habanero, ketchup and molasses. Simmer for 2 hours.
Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
Serve with a variety of toppings: sour cream, greek yogurt, cilantro, chopped avocado, cheese (all of these can help tame the spice level if you accidentally went overboard or are serving someone who doesn’t love spicy as much as you do). Enjoy!