Well, almost. Both Andy and I directed her (and hovered over her) as she wielded a real knife and stirred chili powder into hot browning turkey meat, but she actually did everything — except open the can of tomatoes. Abby was at a sleepover so we told Phoebe she was allowed to pick her favorite dish and help us make it. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m usually wary of the whole cooking-with-kids thing. It tends to make me anxious, and even though all those parenting magazines promise that my kids will be more likely to eat food that they are involved in making, that never seems to be the case in my house. But I guess context is everything — this time, it was a Saturday night and we started early enough so no one was starving or feeling the pressure of the clock. And I think Phoebe enjoyed a rare stretch of being the exclusive focus of her parents.
But what I’m really trying to say is this: If this turkey chili is easy enough for an eight-year-old to make, it’s easy enough for you. We’ve been perfecting this recipe over the course of a decade. It’s a good one.
Saute one large onion (chopped) and a clove of garlic (minced) in olive oil. Add a pound of ground turkey (preferably dark) and brown until it loses its pink color. Add 4 tablespoons of chili powder, get it sizzly so spices get cooking, add 1 large (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, a dash of oregano, thyme, cayenne, 1 bay leaf, and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (crucial). Turn down the heat, simmer for 15 minutes add black beans, cook another 5 or 10. Serve with toppings such as avocado chunks, shredded cheddar, sour cream, chopped cilantro.