Nothing soothes my soul like the sound of rain on my roof…  I suppose I never gave it much thought until I had Gabriel, though.  Rainy days gave me a valid excuse to stay inside and have a pajama day with my little one.  Rainy days in the fall (or snowy days in the winter) meant rich, comforting dinners, just the two of us.  Often with candles, because it was already dark outside, and I find candles to be extra soothing on rainy days.  They served more than a pretty purpose, though.  I was always petrified that we would lose power and I would have to find my way to a flashlight or candle, in pitch black darkness…so lighting a candle during a storm or heavy rain just seemed like a good way to ensure we had a flicker of light if the power went out.

On this particular day…the day that felt like nothing had changed at all, I wanted a home cooked meal that I could prep early, and it had to be comfort food.  I was excited to make this recipe again, because the first time I tried it was in 2012, a few weeks before my life turned upside down.  Because Ron was on his way to New York, and because my heart was heavy with memories of a happier time, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate dinner for Gabriel and I.

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Crockpot Turkey Chili with Cornmeal Crust


2 T. plus 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. chili powder
1.5 lb. lean ground turkey
1 can crushed tomatoes with liquid (28 oz.)
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz.)
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1 cup grated cheddar

1.  Spritz the inside of the crockpot insert with cooking spray.
2.  Warm 2 T. vegetable oil in a skillet on medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook until soft (about 2-3 minutes).
3.  Add garlic and chili powder and saute until fragrant (about a minute).  It will look like a paste.
4.  Stir in turkey, break up large clumps of meat and mix well with onion/garlic/chili powder mixture.  Cook thoroughly.
5.  Add tomatoes and broth.  Stir well, and then add beans.  Bring to a boil and then transfer the entire mixture into the crockpot.
6.  In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.  Mix well.
7.  Stir in egg, milk, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and cheese.
8.  Pour batter over chili in crockpot and gently spread to cover.
9.  Put the lid on the crockpot, and cook on low until chili is hot and cooked through, about five hours.

If you like, you can add more cheese on the top during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time.

I have noticed this chili tends to be a little more watery than others, but it will thicken up a bit, especially the next day.

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