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Flexible Mohawk Chili

The protein base for the chili, presented here as ground turkey, can be sourced a number of ways. The most traditional is ground beef but pretty much any meat or vegetarian source will do. I recommend to sear the meat well, and if it's a tough cut, sustain the the slow cooker at 160-165F for at least 6 hours or until suitably tender. For a vegetarian dish I recommend bulgur wheat with portabello mushrooms.

A large pot or slow cooker will be required for the quantities as stated here.


  • 1 1/2 cup dried kidney beans or two large cans
    • A 16 oz bag is a tad more than 2 cups

If using dried beans, soak over night or for a few hours. Drain and rinse.

Can substitute pinto beans.

Cook the beans until soft, using the minimum amount of water feasible. Transfer to slow cooker without draining.


If using bulgur wheat and mushrooms as the protein, skip this step and just add them to the slow cooker at the end.

  • 3 lbs ground turkey
  • 2 tsp whole cumin
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to preference
  • 2 tblsp olive oil (different meats will need different amounts of oil).

Preheat the olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the meat well. When done, scrape up the browned bits and transfer the meat to the slow cooker. Don't bother cleaning the pan, just proceed to the next step.


  • 1 cup bulgur whear

Onion base

  • 2 medium large onions (500g), coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery (140g), minced very fine
  • 1/4 of a green pepper (84g), minced very fine
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to preference
  • 3 tblsp minced garlic
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine, cabernet sauvignon preferred

Preheat the olive oil until it's almost smoking. Add all ingredients except the garlic and wine and cook until the onions show some blackening (that is, just transparency is not enough).

Reduce heat and cook the garlic to the preferred flavour. When done, transfer to the slow cooker, return the pan to the element and use the red wine to shock the residue free, then empty the pan into the slow cooker, taking care to clean out as much residue as possible (it's where the flavour is hiding).

Tomatoes and Seasoning

  • 2 large cans crushed tomatoes
  • 5 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers (31g), seeds and membranes removed and minced exceedingly finely
    • Apply the relevant safety protocols when working with SBs, habs or other "super-peppers". If you are unacquainted with these protocols, do the research. Improper handling can result in serious injury. I'm not kidding.
  • 1 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp oregano (mexican, preferably)
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 tsp dry basil or several fresh leaves
  • 1 tblsp chili powder

Add all to slow cooker. Simmer all ingredients for at least 3 hours.

Texturing Vegetables

  • 2 med-large carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 green pepper

Cut into chunks and set the slow cooker to warm. Add no sooner than the night before serving. Don't cook these until they get mushy, they are here to add texture.

I like portabello chunks but I don't like to see people picking them out either.


Garnish with:

  • minced raw yellow onion
  • shredded cheddar or other cheese

Serve with tortilla chips.