Restaurant Recipes: FireLake's Turkey Chili

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Superbowl Sunday. Yet another American holiday where people everywhere will gather, feast and watch football. Chili is to Superbowl Sunday what turkey is to Thanksgiving: the food staple that holds the day together.

Paul Lynch, chef/owner of FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, cooked up a recipe combining the best of both gluttonous holidays that ironically also kicks your butt into shape as part of FireLake's Healthy Whole Grains January: Turkey Chili with Rye Berries and Red Beans.

"Hands down, chili is one of the best comfort foods," says Lynch. "It's hot, nutritious and delicious." His new take on good, old-fashioned favorite will have fans cheering for more while maintaining their lose-ten-pounds-this-year resolutions.

FireLake's Turkey Chili with Rye Berries and Red Beans - Serves 10

What you'll need:

8 oz. of red beans, rinsed and picked
4 cups water
2 pounds coarse-ground turkey (¼ - to ½- inch grind)
3/4 oz. sterling oil
2 cups white onions, peeled and diced
2/3 cup carrots, peeled and diced
2/3 cup red peppers, seeded and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 pablano pepper, seeded and diced
3/8 cup dark chili powder
5/8 tbsp. ground cumin
1/4 tbsp. ground coriander
3/4 tbsp. Mexican oregano
3/4 tbsp. kosher salt
3 cups diced tomato in juice
3/8 cup rye berries
1 tbsp. chipotle powder
3/8 tbsp. garlic, freshly chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
3/8 gallon chicken stock
8-quart pot with heavy bottom

What you'll do
:

Rinse the beans and pick through them to make sure you're not cooking any stowaway rocks. In a saucepan, cover beans with water, bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes. Cover and remove from heat set aside for one hour. Then, return beans to heat and simmer until tender.

In a separate pot, add rye berries to 6 cups water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook for 45 minutes until berries are tender to the bite. The rye berries are a great source of whole grains and fiber, explains Lynch, making the chili eat more like a meal.

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"Chili should be meaty," says Lynch, a native-Texan. He uses a ½-inch grinding plate to get the right turkey texture for his chili. Lynch recommends chopping up your own turkey if you can't find coarse-ground meat and are grinder-less.

Heat sterling oil in your heavy-bottomed pot. Brown the turkey until cooked through (approximately 10 minutes) and remove the meat with a slotted spoon when done, leaving the oil in the base of the pot.

Bring the heat up to medium-high, add vegetables, reduce heat to medium, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

Next, add in your salt and spices (sans cilantro) and let it all sweat for five minutes.

Add the turkey back into the pot, along with the chicken stock and tomatoes. Let the mix simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the beans, rye berries, chipotle base and garlic to the mix and let it all simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove the chili from the heat, stir in cilantro and remove the bay leaves. Finally, taste test, adjust salt and dish it up!

Lynch tops his with cheddar and serves it with apple wedges and chunks of cheddar cheese to play up the flavors of the chili.

"A dollop of Old Home sour cream is never going to steer you wrong," adds Lynch.

It's a balanced meal in a bowl, explains Lynch, Turkey and beans for protein, veggies and rye berries for fiber and carbohydrates and cheese and sour cream for dairy. "It's also about mouth-feel and the textures," Lynch says, "which makes it a very interesting eat."

Scouting for strategy or in need of a pre-game show? Try out the recipe at FireLake as a side for $5.50, a meal for $7.50, or a bottomless bowl as part of the Orchard Lunch special complete with apple wedges, cheddar cheese and bread for $9.25. Regardless, you better hustle; it's only available through January.

FireLake is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. It is located at 31 South 7th Street in Minneapolis and can be reached by phone at 612-216-3473.



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