Spicy Turkey Chili with Espresso and Cocoa

With a new year comes new recipes, new goals, new things to try! The weather in Chicago has been rather chili (no pun intended...lies, lies, lies!), so this recipe is a great starter for 2013! Holy moly - is it already 2013? Looks like we all survived the supposed Mayan Apocalypse  I don't know about you, but I had my doubts from the very beginning. There was no way I was about to live some terrible John Cusack movie! I couldn't have asked for a better first recipe for 2013 - I have to say a very huge thank you to Matthew and Kasey at Turntable Kitchen. First for providing me with perhaps my favorite blog. Second for offering Pairing Boxes which I receive in the mail. And third, for providing me with this recipe that I am featuring today on SMAK.  Very rarely am I disappointed with anything that I find on this blog - food, music, writing - it is all amazing!

Spicy Turkey Chili with Espresso and Cocoa


When I first saw this recipe, I have to admit, I was hesitant. Chili with espresso? Wait, add cocoa on top of that? It seemed too weird. I love all of those things, but together? Would it be good?

There was only one way to find out...COOK IT!

As with all chilis and soups, this is a great meal for a cold winter's night. The flavors actually complimented each other perfectly. There was no one flavor that stood out and overpowered the dish. A perfect marriage of flavors. Good job Turntable Kitchen! You are SMAK approved!

Until next time...happy eating!

Spicy Turkey Chili with Espresso and Cocoa serves 4-6

2 pounds ground turkey 2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes 2 cans black beans, drained 2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon chili powder (more or less to taste) 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 tablespoon epazote 1 tablespoon sugar 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 1 cinnamon stick 3/4 cup freshly brewed espresso (or 1 cup freshly brewed dark coffee) 1 large onion, roughly chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced salt and pepper, to taste shredded cheddar cheese chopped cilantro

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent (about 5-8 minutes).
  3. Add the ground turkey, stirring to break it up and mix it with the other ingredients. Continue cooking until browned.
  4. Next, add the espresso or coffee, beans, chopped bell peppers, tomatoes in their juices, cumin, chili powder, epazote, cocoa powder, sugar, and cinnamon stick. Season with salt and pepper. Give everything a nice stir and bring to a boil.
  5. Lower the heat and simmer the chili for 40 minutes to an hour to allow the flavors to meld. Taste the chili and adjust seasonings to your liking. Adding more sugar will cut the heat. If you'd like a spicier chili, you can always add more chili powder, but you can't take it out!