Whatcha gonna do with all that leftover turkey on Friday? Well, first I’m going to make turkey stock. (You can read all about the benefits of making your own stock here, along with a tutorial for doing it in the crockpot.) Then I’m going to make a big batch of this here turkey chili. It’s just what you want in a meal after you’ve spent an entire day in the kitchen. Minimal prep-work, minimal effort, big results. Just dump everything into the soup pot and let it simmer a while, then come back when you’re ready for a hearty meal. Simple as that. It’s exactly the kind of food I crave for a day of family fun and football watching. There’s something about sitting on the sofa eating from a big bowl of warmth that just says comfortable to me. Pajama pants are optional, but recommended. You can feed a crowd with this basic recipe, or just a few, then freeze the leftovers for an easy weeknight meal.
I use the same spices for this as I use in our family favorite chili, but substitute the kidney beans with white beans and use leftover shredded turkey in place of ground beef. It’s savory and a little kicky without being too spicy, so even younger kids can enjoy it. It’s infinitely variable too, so add or substitute any of your favorite flavors. I love to add a squirt of lime juice into my bowl for bright punch of flavor. I’ve heard it said that lime juice is the new salt, and I tend to agree. It’s just right for perking up just about any food. A spoonful of sour cream and fresh cilantro would be great too, if you’re into such things.
Turkey Chili with White Beans
4 cups turkey or chicken stock
2 cans (14.5oz each) diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen fire roasted)
2 cans (14.5 oz each) cannellini beans, or any white beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 yellow onion, diced
cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked turkey, shredded (you can use more turkey if you’d like)
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste if necessary
Heat stock, tomatoes, and cannellini beans in a large stock pot over medium high heat. Bring to a high simmer.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until soft and translucent. Transfer onion and garlic to soup pot.
Add turkey, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and black pepper to soup pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer at least 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary by adding more spices. Add salt if necessary.
Ladle into bowls and serve hot. Add a squirt of lime juice, sour cream, or fresh cilantro if desired.
Note: you could easily use cooked chicken in place of the turkey.
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