I never used to like chili. Frankly, I found it to be heavy and reserved for people who ate nachos and drank beer. But, if you get past the stigma, it can be gussied up and leaned down to become a delicious, gourmet bowl of delightfulness.

Here’s the video:


¼ cup olive oil

1 pound ground turkey

1 large onion chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped fine

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 slice of bacon, cooked

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

½ can (6 oz) tomato paste

½-3/4 cup red wine

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp sage

1 tsp chipotle chili powder

1 tsp sambal oelek (or more if you like it spicy)

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro and more for garnish

juice of ¼ lemon

1 tbsp Grandma Izetta’s BBQ sauce (or other BBQ sauce)

½ cup chicken broth

1 can white cannellini beans (or pinto), rinsed and drained

Shredded cheddar cheese for garnish (optional)

Avocado for garnish (optional)



Cook slice of bacon and set aside.

In large saucepan, put the olive oil and cook the onions and garlic on medium-high heat for about 3 minutes till glossy. Add red pepper and jalapeno (you can start with ¾ of the jalapeno and taste it later to see if you want to add more, or if you like a little spice, add the whole thing in). Cook till vegetables are soft but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Put onion/pepper mixture in a bowl and set aside. Brown turkey in same pan. If it’s dry, add a little more oil. Stir and break up turkey so all of it browns and you have no clumps. Add cumin, sage and chili powder. Put onion mixture back into pan. Crumble bacon slice in pot. Add canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir well to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add BBQ sauce and sambal oelek. Add red wine. Simmer on medium/low heat for about 10 minutes. Stir in fresh cilantro. Add chicken broth and beans. Add lemon juice. Cover and let it simmer on medium-low heat for another 10 minutes, stirring often. Taste and check spice level and adjust accordingly. If chili is too thick, add more wine and/or broth. If it’s too thin, add tomato paste.

Serve with sliced avocado on top and/or cheese and more chopped jalapenos (if the person REALLY likes spicy). Serve with cornbread and green salad.