Not everything wonderful has to be complicated.
Take chocolate milk for instance. Wonderful. Uncomplicated.
Grilled cheese sandwiches? Also wonderful, also uncomplicated.
Chili follows suit.
Through all my days of chili experimentation, I find the more simple I go, the better it turns out.
My trick: pick already delicious ingredients and put them together. Boom! Chili.
It’s kind of like reading the cliff notes on a book you’re supposed to do a report on. You maybe sorta cheated the system, but you still did your homework, did you not?
The pursuit of the perfect chili recipe is an on-going endeavor in my household.
I recently got on a red wine chili kick. Adding wine to chili makes it seem fancy and elegant, yet this is one of the easiest and least time consuming chili recipes I have made.
You can make the whole lot from start to finish in around 45 minutes.
You know in chili when you can taste the meat and the bean and the broth separately? Such is not the case with this chili. The flavors meld into holy matrimony and what a happy matrimony it is!
The key components that made this recipe one of my favorites (and my sweet pea’s number one favorite) is good quality Turkey Italian Sausage (I use Diestel ground turkey Italian sausage which you can find at your local natural food store), full-bodied wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon).
The turkey Italian sausage and wine add an immense amount of flavor and the flour helps those flavors come together by thickening the chili.
Of course there is ample room for substitution, but this trifecta made an incredible meal.
Red Wine Turkey Sausage Chili
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red onion chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds ground Turkey Italian sausage such as Diestel*
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Petite Sirah
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ¾ tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 14-oz can black beans
- 1 14-oz can kidney beans
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour for thickening optional
- Salt to taste
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, sauté the onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
- When the onions begin to sweat (after 3 to 5 minutes), add the carrot and continue to sauté until onion begins to turn brown, another 10 minutes or so.
- Add the turkey Italian sausage and brown the meat for about 2 minutes but do not cook it all the way through. Using a wooden spoon, break the ground sausage into chunks, leaving the chunks fairly large (about the size of a tablespoon) instead of breaking it up into tiny bits.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients, stir to combine and bring the mixture to a full boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the chili for 30 minutes. Make sure the sausage is coked all the way through.The chili should be meaty, thick and full of flavor! Add salt to taste.
- Serve with your favorite chili toppers such as cheese, sour cream, green onion, and/or avocado.