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Jan 24, 2009 09:41 AM

ground chicken or ground turkey? (for chili, etc)

I'm cooking a huge batch of (unconventional) chili tomorrow, and half is going to be fed to folks who don't eat beef or pork, and half will go to solid carnivores. So...I'm leaning towards using some ground poultry, but I've never cooked with it. Which should I choose? Should I use light or dark meat? Please educate me.

Btw, the chili is scrummy. If you're interested, here's the recipe.

1 chopped sweet onion
2 lbs ground beef (normally...)
4 large finely chopped garlic cloves
2 T fruit chutney (I use TJ's mango ginger)
glugs of worchestershire sauce
handful Mexican oregano
3-4 +++ shakes ground peri peri chili (or similar)
2 cans tomato sauce
1 can crushed tomatoes
2-4 cups of beans (I like black beans or garbanzos)
2 T sugar
salt and pepper
maybe some shakes of a good complex fruity hot sauce

Saute aromatics until translucent, add 3-4 shakes peri peri, brown meat. Once red almost cooked out, add worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and plenty of good Mexican oregano, crushed. Add tomato, simmer for a while. Add sugar. Taste. Maybe add more oregano. Simmer an hour. Add beans. Simmer.


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  1. ground turkey is your better bet of the two - it tends to stand up a little better in traditional, tomato-based chili recipes (for white chili i prefer chicken). in terms of the *type* of ground turkey you use, you have various fat content options much as you would for ground beef or pork. the higher-fat ground turkey usually contains some dark meat & skin, while the leaner product is typically just ground breast. in the interest of keeping it moist & flavorful - particularly to satisfy the hard-core carnivores - i'd suggest using higher-fat ground turkey, maybe 85% lean. there's also 93%, but that may be too lean for this dish.