Maple syrup adds just the right sweetness to turkey chili

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Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili from "Maple: 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes Featuring Pure Maple Syrup" by Katie Webster Photo by Katie Webster.
Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili from "Maple: 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes Featuring Pure Maple Syrup" by Katie Webster Photo by Katie Webster.

Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili from “Maple: 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes Featuring Pure Maple Syrup” by Katie Webster Photo by Katie Webster.

We all know that the pancake syrup most of us grew up eating isn’t really maple syrup, and maple syrup lovers know that the real thing is good for more than hotcakes and waffles.

Katie Webster is one of those people. The author of “Maple: 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes Featuring Pure Maple Syrup” (Quirk Books, $22.95) compiled dozens of sweet and savory dishes — including baked goods — that benefit from the addition of that deep flavor and sweetness.

This gluten-free chili has both maple syrup and red wine vinegar, whose sugar and acid balance each other out nicely.

Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili

2 Tbsp. avocado oil or organic canola oil, divided
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 large Spanish onion, diced
1 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground dried chipotle, or to taste
4 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 cup water
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1 (15-oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup dark pure maple syrup
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup toasted pepitas

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add turkey and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally, until completely browned. Transfer turkey and any juices to a bowl and set aside.

Return pot to medium-high heat and add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion, garlic and salt, and cook, stirring often, for 6 to 10 minutes, until onion is soft and browned. Add chili powder, cumin, paprika and chipotle, and cook, stirring, for 30 to 90 seconds, until spices are fragrant and starting to toast and darken slightly.

Add vinegar and stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until liquid is evaporated. Add water and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits and spices from the bottom of the pot. Add tomatoes, beans, syrup and browned turkey, stirring to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer.

Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 14 minutes, until turkey and onions are tender. Serve topped with avocado, cilantro and pepitas. Serves 4.

— From “Maple: 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes Featuring Pure Maple Syrup” by Katie Webster (Quirk Books, $22.95)


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