I was doing so well with the New England weather. I was able to go out on a fifty degree day and comment on how nice the weather was. I even appreciated the weekly rain that never fell on San Diego. However, I've had a setback that can be summed up in three words: Thanksgiving in California. I spent the last week sitting outside in a t-shirt for hours, getting hot in a light jacket, and (I'm ashamed to say) complaining when the temperature dipped down into the sixties and we had to go inside. It was a big setback. I returned to near freezing temps in Massachusetts. I was in bad need of some really good chili.
My mom's recipe has won some chili cook-offs in the past, and it is incredibly easy to make. I did make a couple of changes, but followed the same basic recipe. I used ground turkey instead of ground beef. For whatever reason, I have grown accustomed to ground turkey and actually prefer it to ground beef. So that's just what I buy now. Not by choice, I had to buy regular pinto beans. My new grocery store does not carry Ranch Style beans. If you have access to Ranch Style beans I highly recommend that you use them. I could swear that they have the same secret ingredient as Coca-Cola. I have licked my fingers after draining a can, and it has a hint of Coke! So delicious! I also substituted garlic powder for garlic salt and didn't notice a difference.
I sauteed a chopped medium onion in 2 T of butter until the pieces were soft.
I added one package of ground turkey (I think it's 1.3 pounds) and cooked it until I couldn't see any more pink. Then I drained off the fat.
Next I added a 46 oz bottle of tomato juice, a 15 oz can of beans, 2 T of chili powder, and garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste. That's pretty much it!
After simmering for 30 minutes, the liquid thickens up a little and it is ready to eat!
I like mine with lots of cheddar cheese. Not quite the same as Mom's, but almost as yummy, and certainly satisfying on a cold December night!