November is Turkey Month and nothing says comfort like this chile made with Homemade Turkey Sausage. The chile is as easy to make as the sausage and with the spices you’ll never know it is turkey…so flavorful and satisfying on a cold winter’s night…you’ll think its beef.
If you have extra fresh turkey and a grinder simply mince the turkey in the grinder. Remove the flesh from the thighs, legs and the tail. Breast meat is rather dry and bland whereas the thighs and legs have more flavor and fat. If you don’t have a grinder, freeze chunks of turkey and mince the chunks in your food processor. However, ground turkey is available at most supermarkets so save yourself some time and work.
Beans can be dried or canned but for my money I prefer dried beans and the juice created during the cooking process is far superior in flavor to that of canned beans, which tend to be overly salted. Use red beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, or black beans or a combination. I prefer red beans with black beans.
Best to soak dried beans overnight according to package instructions but a quick way to plump up dried beans is to wash them first, cover with water up to 1-inch above the beans , do not salt the water, bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let soak for 1 or 2 hours. Be sure you do not salt the water. Salting the water will prevent the beans from softening.
Finally, bring the soaked beans to a boil over high heat then reduce to a lively simmer and cook until really soft and tender, about 1.5 to 2 hours. You can use a crock pot for this step so the beans will cook to tender while you’re at work or running errands.
Use the 5 bean test to make sure the beans are really tender. If 4 out of 5 beans are soft and slightly squishy, they are done and ready to add meat, veggies and seasoning. You’ll need 3 cups of cooked beans with the cooking liquid for this recipe. Freeze the remainder for re-fried beans, minestrone, arroz con pollo, bean salad or other dishes.
While the beans are on their final cooking, prepare the Turkey Sausage. Always test fry a small patty of sausage to check for seasoning. If its to your liking then proceed. At this point sausage patties can be made, wrapped and frozen for breakfast or biscuits and gravy.
- 1 pound of ground raw turkey
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp ground sage
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
- 3 cups cooked beans and liquid or 1 can of red beans and 1 can of black beans
- 1 lb Homemade Turkey Sausage
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15-oz can of diced tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp chile powder
- 1 fresh hot chile of choice, minced with or without seeds and veins or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp oregano or 2 sprigs of fresh oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp masa harina (Mexican corn tortilla flour or 1 crisp corn tortilla finely crushed)
- cilantro leaves
- cheddar cheese or Monterrey Jack cheese grated
- Greek yogurt or sour cream
- pickled jalapeno peppers
- sliced scallions (spring onions)
- To prepare the Turkey Sausage, mix all ingredients in a bowl taking care not to overwork the meat. Make a tiny patty with 1 Tbsp of the seasoned meat and fry it in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat until done, turning once. Taste the patty for seasoning and adjust the sausage if needed.
- In a non-stick skillet, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until fragrant and wilted. Add the sausage and break it up with a wooden spoon or potato masher as it cooks. Cook the sausage only until it is no longer pink. Add to the beans with cooking liquid in a large sauce pan.
- Add the remaining chile ingredients to the beans and meat. Bring to a slow boil for 10-15 minutes.
- Using a potato masher, smash some of the beans to make it creamy. Continue to simmer until juices are creamy and juices have reduced to your taste.
- Let cool for 10 or 15 minutes before serving. Serve with garnishes, warm tortillas or bread.