Thursday, November 29, 2012

Still Got Turkey? My Favorite Turkey Leftover Creation - Chili!

Chili may not be an obvious choice for turkey leftovers, but it is a yummy choice. I drew my inspiration from White Chicken Chili (rather than your traditional dark chili that includes tomatoes). I have made White Chicken Chili before using shredded chicken and chicken sausage. It is always a hit.

The recipe I used for my leftover turkey drew inspiration from this recipe by Ree at the Pioneer Woman Cooks, but I improvised a bit and did not strictly adhere to the recipe. Here is my ingredient list and step-by-step.
FYI-There is no egg in the chili, it is for the corn muffins
Basic ingredients: butter or oil, onion, garlic, turkey, chicken stock, green chiles (fresh or canned), bell pepper (optional), cornmeal or corn muffin mix, cilantro and spices - I like chili, cumin, red pepper flakes, red pepper (cayenne), black pepper and salt. (White beans are a great addition, I just did not have any on hand). 
Heat a large, deep pan and add a pat of butter.
Add 1 small diced onion and diced green bell pepper.

Once the pepper and onion had simmer a bit, add 3 chopped garlic cloves and let all of that simmer for awhile before adding some chicken stock (just enough to cover the vegetables) and 2 diced green chiles (you could also use canned green chiles and adjust the amount based on how spicy you like it - my version is spicy). 

After all of that cooks for awhile over medium high heat, add the rest of the chicken stock from one box and the shredded turkey and chopped cilantro (1/2 of one bunch of cilantro was all I had the patience to chop). Next, add your spices (I never measure spices, but add little by little and taste as I go). If you want your chili less spicy, skip the red pepper flakes and go easy on the cayenne. Remember, too, that the chili will be much spicier when it is done than when you start. (Mine ended up too spicy for the boys, which is fine because I liked it so much I really did not want to share!)

Here is the trick for getting a nice thick chili (and this trick I took from the Pioneer Woman!) - corn meal! I actually used 2 Tablespoons of corn muffin mix, adding 1 TBS at a time and stirring a way until it incorporated really well into the chili. This thickened it up quite nicely. Chili also involves a fair amount of simmer time, so once all of that is in, turn the heat down and let it simmer. 
Chili with only corn muffin on top.

I made corn muffins to go with the chili (ideally, there would have been some of my yummy cornbread stuffing left to toss in with it). The boys ate the muffins and the chili toppings - plain greek yogurt (instead of sour cream) and cheese. I, happily, ate the chili - one bowl with toppings and one without! 

Chili with cheese, muffin and yogurt.
What is your favorite thing to eat for leftovers? This recipe made me glad we still had some leftovers as it was the perfect meal, especially on a cold, rainy night. 

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