I was obsessed with the slow cooker in my early cooking stage because by the time I got home from work I was mentally drained. The thought of cooking up an elaborate (or even semi-elaborate) meal after chasing down interviews, writing stories on deadline and proofing pages was completely beyond me. Enter the slow cooker, the dream machine for anyone with a family, full-time job or desire to only spend a few minutes in the kitchen and still be able to come home to a house filled with mouth-watering smells. I didn’t always love to cook the way I do now, so my slow cooker became my savior, allowing me to explore a variety of hearty recipes without demanding I spend hours in the kitchen.
I originally made this recipe in Colorado when I first started getting into cooking. Matthew was visiting me during winter and we invited a bunch of friends over from work for cards and chili. I don’t think I had ever made a dish with mole (pronounced “MOH-lay”) in it but I was delightfully surprised by its flavor — bold, thick and rich, with a slightly earthy flavor. It’s a Mexican sauce/paste typically made from chiles, onions, garlic, chocolate and other spices. This chili was a huge hit with my friends and combated Colorado’s cold climate perfectly with its deep, hearty flavor.
The prep time on this dish is quick and the ingredients can be found in nearly every grocery store. Mole can be found on the Hispanic aisle and cotija cheese can be found in the dairy section. This cheese, which resembles feta and Parmesan in taste, is a hard, white Mexican cheese that crumbles easily over the chili. Both the cheese and a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (my favorite), is perfect for cutting the richness of this chili. I also added corn to the chili because it has always been a part of chili in my family.
Slow Cooker Turkey Mole Chili
Slightly adapted from Pillsbury’s Slow Cooker recipe booklet
2 packages (16-20 oz. each) lean ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium-large carrots, chopped
1 cup corn
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar (8 1/4 oz.) mole
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
crumbled cotija cheese
In large non-stick skillet, cook ground turkey over medium-high heat (roughly 5-7 minutes), stirring frequently, until no pink remains. Spray 4-5 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Add turkey and remaining ingredients except cream/yogurt and cheese.
Cover and cook on the low heat setting for 8 to 10 hours. Stir well before serving. If desired, top with sour cream/Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of cheese. Consume with unabashed relish.