If you enjoyed your Thanksgiving menu there is probably going to be cranberry sauce for several days to come. When it comes to eating up leftovers after Thanksgiving, you could go in for Thanksgiving feast part 2, but we wanted to suggest veering from that course you’ve already traversed and perhaps your tastebuds are ready for a change too, so introducing our chili made with leftover turkey. With Thanksgiving turkey there are a few unknown variables—did you brine your bird? What kinds of seasonings did you use? So, in this recipe, we start with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt when sautéing the onions and carrots. We used around 3 teaspoons total salt, but season to your taste. Also, we add enough chipotle to add complexity to the sauce but if you want it spicier, feel free to add in one more chipotle. This turkey chili walks the line of a thick saucy Texas chili with the California mission figs naturally thickening up the sauce for the best Texas chili recipe with shredded Thanksgiving turkey. The unsweetened chocolate might seem a bit surprising, but it also adds just enough complexity to the sauce. Perhaps you don’t have turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving to use—feel free to brown 2 pounds ground turkey to stir in. Lastly, there’s nothing quite like eating cornbread with chili and this one is no exception.
Figgy Chili Made with Leftover Turkey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 large white onion, diced (2 1/2 cups)
- 3 carrots, peeled and large-diced (1 1/2 cups)
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 4 cups unsalted chicken broth, divided
- 1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed and diced
- 2 canned chipotle peppers, rinsed of adobo sauce
- 1 (28 oz) can tomato puree
- 1 (28 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 large orange or red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and diced (1 1/2 cups)
- 6 cups shredded turkey (white or dark meat)
- Greek yogurt
Warm the oil in a stockpot set over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the chili powder and toast for 1 minute. Add in 1 teaspoon of salt, onion and carrots, stirring occasionally until mostly softened, about 9 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat 1 cup of the chicken broth in a saucepan set over medium heat until steam rises from the top, about 3 minutes. Pour the chicken broth over the chocolate and set aside for 2 minutes. Then whisk the chocolate and broth together until combined. Toss in the mission figs.
Spoon the chipotle peppers, tomato puree, figs, and chocolate broth into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth.
Stir in the pinto beans, bell pepper, and turkey into the stockpot to tumble with the chili-coated onion and carrots. Pour in the pureed fig tomato mixture. Stir in the remaining 3 cups of chicken broth. Season to taste. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and chopped scallions if desired.
Recipe and photos by Annelies Zijderveld
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