The best chili recipe will be bold, just spicy enough and welcome the addition of your favorite topping. You could make this recipe as written below or take it more in the direction of a Texas style chili, leaving the beans out. It’s the perfect dinner during cold nights.
Perfect for Thanksgiving Turkey Leftovers
If you have 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 taste buds are ready for a change too.
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.
Spice is Nice
We add enough chipotle to contribute complexity and smoky flavor to the sauce but if you want it spicier, feel free to add in one more chipotle.
What would chili be without chili spice? The chili spice is bloomed in hot oil as a way to wake up the spices.
Flavor Up with Figs for the Best Chili Recipe
This turkey chili walks the line of a thick saucy Texas chili recipe as the California Dried Mission Figs naturally thicken the sauce. They also give body to the sauce as almost a can’t put your finger on it flavor.
They are blended with the figs and chicken broth. Hot chicken broth melts the chocolate which adds an earthy sweetness to the sauce. Chocolate is an ingredient that is used in Mexican mole to add an unexpected edge to the sauce.
Make It a Texas Chili Recipe
Leave out the beans.
Shredded Turkey or Ground Turkey—You’re Pick
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.
Turkey Chili with Figs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chili powder divided
- 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 Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stemmed and diced
- 2 canned chipotle peppers rinsed of adobo sauce
- 1 canned tomato puree (28 ounce)
- 1 can pinto beans drained and rinsed (28 ounce)
- 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
- Green onions
- 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.