Sunday, November 30, 2008

Leftover Turkey Chili

We all have turkey leftovers that just aren't suitable for sandwiches or slicing. This "garbage" meat is an opportunity waiting to happen. There are lots of ways to use bits and pieces. This is what we did this post-Thanksgiving.

Turkey Chili
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2-3 celery stalks, trimmed of ends and chopped
2-3 cups scrap turkey meat (separate actual meat from grizzle, fat, skin and bones), diced
2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2-3 Tbsps. tomato paste
salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 Tbsps. chili powder
2 15 oz. cans beans (we used aduki and kidney beans, but pinto and black beans would also work very well), drained and rinsed
shredded cheese (optional)
tortilla chips (optional)

In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and onions. Cook until somewhat soft, 4-5 minutes. Add carrots and celery, cooking a few minutes more. Season with salt. Add turkey meat, canned tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir well. Add salt and pepper, to taste, along with chili powder. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans and stir to combine. Serve topped with shredded cheese and tortilla chips.

If you were lucky enough to get a hold of the turkey carcass, save this, and all the fat, grizzle and bones that didn't go into this chili. You can freeze it for later use, or, if you have the energy, you can use it right away. Turkey carcass soup is one of the best reasons to have a Thanksgiving turkey. That's a recipe for another day.

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