Chili: Chicken or Turkey Print Recipe Print Recipe

Ina’s Chicken Chili

Dad’s Turkey Chili

{Photographed by With Style and Grace}

I love stews and chili’s because it involves throwing everything into one pot, making it easy, delicious, usually healthy and less to clean up. Every New Years day my dad would make his famous turkey chili and invite family and friends over to recover relax, watch football, eat and drink too much more. Good times.

My mom recently shared this chicken chili recipe with me, which I made a few weeks ago when it actually felt like Fall here. We don’t see Winter, it’s California. And yes, I’m super jealous of all of you posting pictures of your white Christmas or tweeting about the snow fall. Anyways, whether or not you have snow outside your window and whether you like Chicken or Turkey, they both make the perfect winter/New Years day dish! Big decision, do I make chicken or turkey chili?

For the chicken chili, I made it extra chunky and with boneless chicken breasts (vs. bone in). It was so good, my husband and I enjoyed the leftovers for lunch and dinner the following week.

Question: What makes a chili? Personally, I’m not sure I would call my version a chili, it looks like a stew. No?

Chunky Chicken Chili Recipe

{adapted by Barefoot Contessa}


  • 4 cups chopped yellow onions, approx 3 onions
  • 1/8 cup good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
  • 1/8 cup minced garlic, approx 2 cloves
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes puree, undrained – I used 1 can of crushed and 1 can of whole and 1/2 can of puree
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Cook the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Crush the tomatoes by hand or in batches in a food processor fitted with a steel blade (pulse 6 to 8 times). Add to the pot with the basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked. Let cool slightly. For bone in – separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut it into 3/4-inch chunks. Boneless – cut into bite size chunks. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with the toppings (sour cream, cheese, tortilla strips, cornbread, etc.), or refrigerate and reheat gently before serving.


Dad’s Turkey Chili Recipe


  • 2 alarm chili mix – I use approx 1 1/2 packets
  • package of ground turkey, extra lean
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • salt + pepper

Suggest serving over brown rice and saltine crackers

In a large pot on medium heat, add kidney beans, black beans and diced tomatoes. Warning: the more chili mix you add, the spicier the chili. I usually mix in 1 – 1/2 packets. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes, covered.

In a separate pan, brown ground turkey until fully cooked. Add the cooked turkey to the chili and let simmer for approximately 30-45 minutes. Serve warm over brown rice and topped with any of the condiments listed below. Enjoy!

Condiments: sour cream, grated cheese, and chives.

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  • Caroline

    YUM! I think I might make a hybrid of the two! I like the idea of the chicken breast, but I don’t think I’ve had chilli before without beans!! this recipe comes just in time for the -17 degree night we’re supposed to be getting!!!!