Turkey Black Bean Chili with Ancho Salsa

  • Active Time 35m
  • Total Time 2h 35m
  • Rating ****

Serves 6

Some food scholars say that chili-seasoned stews of meat and beans belong more to Texas and the American Southwest than to Mexico. Certainly, this is a cantina dish of the northern borderlands, and it owes a debt to present-day sensibilities in its health-conscious combination of ground turkey and black beans.


  • 2 cups (14 ounces/440 grams) dried black beans
  • 8 cups (64 ounces/2 liters) water
  • 2 fresh árbol chili peppers
  • 3 bay leaves
  • For Salsa:
  • 4 dried ancho chili peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces/125 milliliters) fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces/60 milliliters) fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound (500 grams) coarsely ground (minced) turkey
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 fresh poblano chili peppers, stemmed, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 cups (16 ounces/500 milliliters) chicken stock, or as needed


Sort through the black beans and discard any misshapen beans or stones. Rinse well. In a large saucepan, combine the beans, water, árbol chilies and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer until tender, about 1 hour. Remove the chilies and bay leaves and discard. Set aside.

FOR SALSA: In a cast-iron frying pan over medium heat, toast the ancho chilies, turning frequently to avoid scorching, until soft and brown, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat, chop and place in a bowl. Add the orange and lime juices, salt and olive oil. Mix well and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours before serving. (The salsa can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

In a large pot over medium heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add the turkey and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, poblano chilies, chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add the black beans and their liquid and the 2 cups chicken stock and cook, uncovered, until the flavors have melded and the mixture has thickened, 30-40 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more chicken stock if needed for the desired consistency.

Ladle the chili into warmed bowls and top each serving with a dollop of the salsa.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 585

nutrition information per serving

517 calories; 19g total fat; 60mg cholesterol; 937mg sodium; 58g carbohydrates; 15g fiber; 33g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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