Chicken or Turkey Chili

This recipe came from a sister in law. In the 1970s cooks were adding turkey meat, ground or chopped, to darn near everything. It was a health craze and many women thought they were saving money too. You don’t save money if your family won’t eat the stuff. The dishes created were not always great but this recipe isn’t bad. The flavor is fairly good and it tastes even better when reheated. She always used turkey in the recipe but chicken works just as well.

There are tons of recipes for chili on the internet and in cookbooks. I think the best chili has chunks of venison with chunks of beef. Most chili recipes call for long and slow cooking to allow the flavors to develope. This recipe does not.

Chili was originally beans in a spicy tomato sauce that was known to the ancient Aztecs and Mayans. It became chili con carne when Americans added meat to a tomato and chili pepper sauce. It was said by C. J. Clopper that chili was first developed in San Antonio Texas in 1828 but there is no further evidence that it was. Chili became a popular stew in Texas and the Southwest following the Civil War. The development of chili powder in 1902 added to the popularity of the dish by making it easier to make. Chili was served at the San Antonio Chili Stand at the Chicago Far in 1893.

The recipe will serve 4. It can be doubled. Serve it with your favorite toppings, a salad, corn tortillas or cornbread and a fruit dessert.

Chicken or Turkey Chili                                                                              


  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
  • 28 oz. of Italian tomatoes (plum tomatoes), drained and chopped
  • 16 oz. kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken or turkey breast, cut in ¾ inch pieces


Heat the olive oil in a large, deep pan. Add the onion and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili, cumin, and cinnamon and sauté for a few seconds. Add the cider vinegar and cook for a minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the beans and chicken or turkey and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the meat is cooked through. Don’t overcook or the chicken or turkey will dry out.

Serve with corn tortillas, sour cream, green onions, seeded red peppers, grated sharp cheese or your  favorite toppings.

To reheat the corn tortillas dip them briefly in water, then reheat on an ungreased griddle and wrap in foil and keep in a low oven until ready to serve.


I cook the ingredients much longer before adding the meat.

I add diced green pepper with the onion and more garlic.

It can be served with corn muffins or corn bread.

Chili can be served over rice or noodles.

Pour the chili into a casserole dish and cover it with a half recipe of cornbread batter. Bake in a 400 degrees F oven until the cornbread is done and lightly browned.


About dwittopinions

A great grandmother living in the middle of the United States. My interests include art, needlework, reading, history, politics, and cooking.
This entry was posted in Chicken, Dinner, Food, Food History, Lunch, Main Dishes, Recipes, Soup and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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