Katie Stew

A rich, simmering blend of my favorite things

My Favorite Chili?


I love chili.

I love solid meat chili with no beans. I love vegetarian chili with lots of beans. Most of all, I think I love Emeril’s Turkey and White Bean Chili.

It is hard to say I have a favorite chili, but this one is just wonderful. I can eat it year-round and it is always a kind comfort. It has just enough spice to be entertaining and the addition of the cilantro makes the whole thing pop with a brightness that makes it hearty and light at the same time. I made it last week and will polish off the last of it today. A big pot lasts me and my honey about a week. A wonderful week of lunches and leftovers.

I like it with some cheddar on top and a dollop of sour cream. Then you can enjoy it with all kinds of sides like Saltines or cornbread. My favorite is a pile of crumbled tortilla chips on top. So good.

I make it pretty much as is except the following:

I don’t ever cook the beans myself. I use 2 cans of white beans from the supermarket. Easy, fast, less plan ahead.

I also don’t use the “Southwest Seasoning” recipe. I substitute one tablespoon of Emeril’s regular seasoning and one tablespoon of Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning. I’m sure you could just make the SW seasoning, but the others are what I have on hand and they are just peachy.

Here is the original recipe. Enjoy it.

Emeril’s Turkey and White Bean Chili


  • 1/2 pound dried navy beans, picked over
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons Emeril’s Southwest Essence, recipe follows
  • 1 2/3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (10-ounce) cans Ro’tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles (original), undrained
  • 2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro stems
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Sour cream, for serving
  • Grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, for serving
  • Chopped green onions, for serving


In a large kettle, soak beans in cold water to cover by 2 inches overnight. Drain beans in a colander and return to kettle with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Cook beans at a bare simmer until just tender, about 1 hour, and drain in a colander.

In a skillet, heat the oil and saute the onion and jalapeno until soft and beginning to caramelize, 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the ground turkey, Southwest Essence, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until turkey is browned and cooked through, 6 minutes. Add the cornmeal and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, canned tomatoes, canned chiles, and cilantro stems and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. After it has cooked for 30 minutes, add the cooked beans. Add the heavy cream and cilantro leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes longer.

Serve the chili in deep bowls, garnished with dollops of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and green onions to taste. 

Emeril’s Southwest Seasoning:

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon dried oregano

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.


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