How to Make Great Turkey Chili from Thanksgiving Leftovers
I know how it is. You buy a huge bird, you roast it, you feast and then you stare in dismay at all of the leftovers. Mentally, you try and calculate how many turkey sandwiches you can eat before running for the hills.
I am here to help with an unusual but innovative way to use up your leftovers in a hearty and filling chili.
It may seem early to be talking about Turkey Day leftovers but Thanksgiving is fast approaching and you will probably be overwhelmed putting the meal together to be plan what to do with leftovers. This is a great recipe for cleaning out the refrigerator over the weekend.
For another great turkey chile recipe, I recommend you check out my Deer Valley Chili recipe. It even has a photo of me during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Park City as a volunteer.
If wars haven’t been fought over chili, I bet there are friends haven’t who haven’t talked to each other for a few days after a great chili debate. Beans vs. no beans is a huge issue. As is tomatoes vs. no tomatoes.
People have very strong opinions on what sorts of meats and vegetables should go into chili. At the end of the day, though, chili is a way to use up leftovers. And, as such, I respectfully ask everyone to just calm down and relax.
For me, chili is defined by the use of fresh and/or dried chile peppers as a main flavor component in the dish. I generally expect there to be some cumin as well as a bit of heat. I do not expect to see mushrooms, but I won’t be offended if you choose to add them.
Chili is a one pot meal meant to warm you up and clear out your fridge, and what better time to do that than right after a big holiday?
Leftover Thanksgiving Day Turkey Chili Recipe
- 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/2 cup beer or dry white wine
- 1/4 cup jellied cranberry Chili powder to taste - anywhere from 2 tablespoons to 1/3 cup
- Ground cumin to taste
- Cayenne pepper to taste
- Ground coriander to taste
- 3 cups chicken broth or turkey broth, if you have any
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano crush in your hand to release the oils
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning or to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound leftover shredded turkey
- 6 oz. crumbled leftover cornbread stuffing
- Juice of 2 limes
- Fresh sage chiffonade, for garnish
- Over medium-low heat, sweat onion and garlic with a little salt and pepper in oil until softened and translucent. Turn up heat and cook until golden. Deglaze with beer or wine. Cook until evaporated.
- Turn heat to medium, and add cranberry jelly. Stir well. Add spices and cook for another minute or two. Increase heat to medium high, and add broth, oregano and poultry seasoning.
- Add shredded turkey meat, and crumbled stuffing. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Simmer and stir to break up the cornbread and dissolve it. (The cornbread will thicken your chili). Just before serving, squeeze in the lime juice and stir. Serve in heated bowls, and garnish with chiffonade sage.
- I have given you measurements, but please don’t feel like you need to break out your scale and your measuring cups. Let your taste guide how much of each ingredient you add.