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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Copycat Recipe of Panera Bread's Turkey Chili

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So recently my husband and I were out running errands and popped into Panera Bread for a quick lunch.  I like that I can get fresh and healthy menu items there, complete with nutritional information and smaller half portions.  I find this to be a constant battle because let's face it, eating healthy when you are out and about can be challenging.  On this particular day I tried the turkey chili and I have to tell you that I was super impressed!  It was super flavorful, had the right amount of heat and seasonings and lots of textural goodies in there - always a bonus for me.  After finding myself running through the Panera Bread drive-through after my exercise class a couple more times for a cup of this turkey chili, I figured I'd better just get on with the process of making my own.  

As with any chili, the process is a basic brown and dump, stir and wait.  Nothing complicated.  Just as a bonus, going the turkey route makes your basic chili recipe healthier by lowering the fat.  There are some carbs in here due to the beans and corn, but remember, beans are low on the glycemic index  (GI) (less than 55) and have a lot of fiber.  They won't affect your blood sugar the same way a medium or high GI food would.  According to the Panera Bread website, 1 cup has 170cal, 8g fat (1.5g sat fat), 21g carbs, 10g fiber, 4g sugar, 11g protein.   Of course I don't claim to know their exact recipe, but I think this is a pretty close approximation.   Next time you get in the mood for a big bowl of chili, but don't want to ruin your diet, give this one a shot!  This clean eating recipe is  also gluten free if that is something you are concerned about.  


Ingredients: (serves 6-8)
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  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 pounds ground turkey (93/7)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped small
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small matchsticks
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 (4oz) can chopped green chiles 
  • 1 (28oz) can petite diced canned tomatoes 
  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste 
  • 1 box (32oz) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 (16oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 1 (16oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup corn (drain if canned)
  • 2/3 cup shelled frozen edamame 
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 
  • Juice of 1 large lime (probably just under 1/4 cup for a large lime)
  • 1 cup tortilla strips

Step-by-Step:
Step 1 - Turkey.  Brown the turkey in the EVOO in a heavy pot or dutch oven, crumbling as it cooks; but leave it chunky enough to look like chili.  Turkey is so soft that if you aren't careful, it can completely break up so much that it will look like sand.  
1 Tbsp EVOO
2 pounds (93/7) ground turkey
Step 2 - Mirepoix.  When the turkey is about two thirds of the way brown, add the mirepoix (chopped onions, celery and carrots).  Saute the vegetables on medium heat for about ten minutes until they are soft. 
2 medium onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small matchsticks
Allow to cook down until vegetables are soft, about ten minutes, on medium heat.
Step 3 - Seasoning.  Basically, just dump all the seasonings in there.  
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (use less if using regular table salt)
1-2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp Italian seasoning 
2 tsp garlic powder
The whole time you are adding the seasoning allows the mirepoix to continue to cook.  By this time, you kitchen should be starting to smell pretty darned good!
Step 4 - Flavor Base.  Now that the meat is flavorful and the vegetables are soft, add in the liquids and thickeners.  These are the things that deepen the flavor.
1 (4oz) can chopped green chiles 
1 (28oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
1 (32oz) box stock of your choice - chicken or vegetable 
Step 5 - Textural Elements.  These are healthy, colorful, textural components that also add a ton of fiber and vitamins and "goodness" to the pot.  

1 (16oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (16oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (may also be labeled garbanzo beans)
2/3 cup corn (drained)
2/3 cup shelled edamame (will probably find them frozen)
Now it's getting really pretty, right?  šŸ˜Š  If you are really concerned about carbs, you can modify as needed and omit the corn, but split into eight servings, you are only getting around 0.75oz corn which has a very low carb count.  The chickpeas have a texture similar to potatoes in this chili recipe.
Step 6 - The Finishing Touches.   Bring out those amazing Tex-Mex flavors with fresh cilantro and a big dose of acidity from the lime juice to brighten it all up.    
1/2 cup chopped cilantro 
Juice of 1 large lime
**Many of the recipe criticisms for Panera Bread's turkey chili recipe were along the lines of "It's too soupy" or "I couldn't get mine to thicken up." So... I sought to rectify that here.  Many Southwestern-inspired chiles are thickened with masa harina (corn flour) or in some instances corn meal or polenta.  They absorb and help thicken the liquid after about ten minutes of simmering.  I'm taking an easy shortcut and adding these tortilla strips to my pot of chili.  They will completely disappear in the chili, help thicken it, and then I can also use them as a great crunchy garnish on top.  

1 cup tortilla strips
The tortilla strips will all just go away like magic after several minutes.
Serve plain or with your favorite garnishes!  My kids love when I make cornbread muffins as an accompaniment to chili.  
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Bonus Recipes - 
Decadent Chocolate Truffles  - Because you never know when you need to whip up a sweet treat for a party or holiday gathering!  So easy.
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Crab and Brie Soup - Perhaps the ultimate decadent dinner party soup.
menumusings.com

Pan Seared Chicken in Tarragon Cream Sauce - Fancy enough for guests, quick and easy enough for a fabulous weeknight meal.
menumusings.com

Easy Beef Lo Mein - Sometimes staying IN for Chinese is more fun than going out, especially when it's this easy.
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Easy Cajun Chicken Pasta Bake - When you need to feed an army of people (like your college kids home for the holidays with their friends) on a small budget.
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The Menu Musings Cookbook makes a fantastic holiday gift!
Click HERE to find out more about the cookbook, the cool QRS features it has for each recipe that bring readers back to the blog, etc.  It's the only hardcopy interactive cookbook on the market!
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Written Method:
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Step 1 - Turkey.  Brown the turkey in the EVOO in a heavy pot or dutch oven, crumbling as it cooks; but leave it chunky enough to look like chili.  Turkey is so soft that if you aren't careful, it can completely break up so much that it will look like sand.
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 pounds ground turkey (93/7)
Step 2 - Mirepoix.  When the turkey is about two thirds of the way brown, add the mirepoix (chopped onions, celery and carrots).  Saute the vegetables on medium heat for about ten minutes until they are soft. 
  • 2 medium onions, chopped small
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small matchsticks
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped fine
Step 3 - Seasoning.  Basically, just dump all the seasonings in there.  
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic powder 
Step 4 - Flavor Base.  Now that the meat is flavorful and the vegetables are soft, add in the liquids and thickeners.  These are the things that deepen the flavor.
  • 1 (4oz) can chopped green chiles 
  • 1 (28oz) can petite diced canned tomatoes 
  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste 
  • 1 (32oz) box chicken or vegetable stock
Step 5 - Textural Elements.  These are healthy, colorful, textural components that also add a ton of fiber and vitamins and "goodness" to the pot.  

  • 1 (16oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 1 (16oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup corn (drain if canned)
  • 2/3 cup shelled frozen edamame 
Step 6 - The Finishing Touches.   Bring out those amazing Tex-Mex flavors with fresh cilantro and a big dose of acidity from the lime juice to brighten it all up.    The tortilla strips will disappear after about ten minutes and act as a thickener.
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 
  • Juice of 1 large lime (probably just under 1/4 cup for a large lime)
  • 1 cup tortilla strips
Serve plain or with your favorite garnishes!  I suggest cornbread muffins as an accompaniment.  

2 comments:

  1. Love all the veggies, next time I will halve the spicey seasoning. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Janet.
      - Julie

      Delete

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