Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Talking turkey: Leftovers

Thanksgiving is my all time favorite holiday.  For me it's all about the gathering.  I love the coordinated cooking of way more dishes than you'd have at any other meal, the drinks and laughs shared in the kitchen throughout the day and then later into the evening.  I delight in the sampling of each dish throughout preparation, then the tipsy gluttony while huddled around the table.  Turkey day may have larger meanings, but to me it's the epitome of home.

While the holiday itself is delicious, so are the leftovers and all the beauty one can create wtih them.  My go-to is turkey pot pie.  I always make stock to use & freeze, some sort of muffin with leftover cranberry sauce, and some kind of turkey soup.  This year I decided to color outside the lines and transformed the first batch of leftovers into a post-thanksgiving pizza and turkey chili.

The key to this turkey chili is getting the cooked turkey into a superfine chop so that it can be added into the sauteed onions and peppers and seasoning.  Use the aforementioned stock in lieu of water or canned broth and eat with plenty of green onions and shredded cheese. Oh, and of course, fritos or your favorite corn chip.  My current favorites are the Trader Joe's version that's organic and shaped just for scooping up the yumminess!

Make sure you have:
1 large onion
1 large green bell pepper (I used half of a green and half of a yellow this time)
2-4 cloves garlic
cooking oil
chili powder
dried oregano
sugar (optional)
cayanne/red pepper
2-3 cups leftover turkey (mix of light and dark meat is best)
4 c. turkey stock (or canned broth if you don't have any)
2-3 15oz cans of beans (I used 1 can kidney and two cans black beans)
1 28oz can diced tomatoes or tomato pureee
green onions
sharp cheddar cheese
corn chips

And then:
Open your beer, pour into a frosty glass and get to work.  The decrease in stress that happens with that first hoppy sip is directly proportional to the deliciousness of the finished product.

  1. Chop the onion and bell pepper into a small dice (size dependant upon pickiness of little ones, I go pretty small)
  2. Heat oil in heavy dutch oven and sautee' the onion/peppers for 10mins or until soft and transluscent
  3. Add a dash of salt and the spices, then the finely diced garlic

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