Spiced Turkey & Chickpea Chili
with Chermoula, Labneh & Pita Croutons
- Time35-45 mins
Chermoula is a vividly flavorful North African herb sauce. Here, we’re using it to top a hearty turkey chili made with chickpeas and eggplant. The cilantro, garlic, lemon and olive oil perfectly complement the warming spices of ras el hanout, regarded as Morocco’s “national spice blend” and one of the cuisine’s fundamental ingredients. For crunchy texture and added creaminess, we’re also topping the chili with pan-toasted pita croutons and tangy labneh (a Middle Eastern cheese made from strained yogurt).
TbspsTurkey Chili Spice Blend (All-Purpose Flour, Ras El Hanout, Cumin, Coriander, Cardamom, Crushed Aleppo Pepper & Dried Orange Peel)
- Medium Pan
- Wooden Spoon
- Cutting Board
- Prep Bowls
- Chef’s Knife
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tips & techniques
Labneh is a rich, creamy cheese made from strained yogurt. (“Laban” is the word for strained, or “Greek,” yogurt in Arabic.) Produced from goat’s or cow’s milk, it has a consistency between regular yogurt and cheese, and it’s often used as a condiment. In Middle Eastern cuisines, it’s rolled into herbed, spiced balls, topped with olive oil and served as an appetizer.
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1Prepare the ingredients:
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Small dice the pita. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Cut off and discard the stem end of the eggplant; small dice. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Finely chop the cilantro leaves and stems.
2Make the pita croutons:
In a large, straight-sided pan (or large pot), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pita; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned and toasted. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt and pepper. Wipe out the pan.
3Start the chili:
In the pan used to toast the pita, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the eggplant; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned. Add the ground turkey; season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
4Finish the chili:
Add the onion, spice blend, tomato paste and ¾ of the garlic paste to the pan of eggplant and turkey; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant and the onion is softened. Add the chickpeas and 2 cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5Make the chermoula & season the labneh:
While the chili cooks, in a small bowl, combine the labneh cheese and the juice of 1 lemon wedge; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. In a separate small bowl, combine the cilantro, lemon zest, remaining garlic paste and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in enough olive oil to create a thick paste.
6Serve your dish:
Divide the finished chili between 2 bowls. Garnish with the pita croutons, chermoula and seasoned labneh cheese. Enjoy!