Turkey Black Bean Chili with Ancho Salsa

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

Suggested Use:
Anchos are great in salsa, soups, enchilada and any sauce needing mild heat and chile flavor. Chopped, pureed or ground, they can be added directly to your recipes.

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2 cups (14 oz) dried black beans
8 cups water
2 fresh arbol chili peppers
3 bay leaves

For Salsa:
4 dried ancho chili peppers, stemmed and seeded
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb. coarsely groun turkey
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 tsp salt, or to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 fresh poblano chili peppers, stemmed, seeded and diced
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
2 cups chicken stock, or as needed


Sort through the black beans and discard any misshapen beans or stones. Rinse well. In a large saucepan, combine the beans, water, arbol chiles, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer until tender, about 1 hour. Remove the chiles and bay leaves and discard. Set aside.

FOR SALSA: In a cast-iron frying pan over medium heat, toast the ancho chiles, turning frequently to avoid scorching, until soft and brown, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat, chop, and place in a bowl. Add the orange and lime juices, salt, and olive oil. Mix well and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours before serving. (The salsa can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days).

In a large pot over medium heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add the turkey and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, poblano chiles, chili powder, and cumin, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the black bean and their liquid and the 2 cups of chicken stock, and cook uncovered until the flavors have blended and the mixture has thickened, about 30-40 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more chicken stock if needed for the desired consistency.

Serves 6.

From Weldon Owen, cooking.com.