Turkey Mix'd Bean Chili

Turkey Mix'd Bean Chili

This recipe admittedly begins one day ahead. TALLBlonde does love turkey but my inspiration was using leftover turkey that was no longer in the form of a sandwich/wrap/casserole. I don't like using the "H" word because that just makes any dish sound boring but this is incredibly H-ealthy, high in protein, some mild heat, smoke and next to no fat.

Begin the day before by soaking mixed dry beans overnight and rinsing twice the next day. This will help eliminate your "buuurp" zone.  TALLBlonde also made her own turkey broth buy boiling the leftover turkey carcass for a couple hours on the stove until liquid is reduced by 2/3 creating a rich, deeply colored, flavorful bouillon. Chill broth overnight in the refrigerator and magically the fat will rise to the top making it easy to scrape off. If you took the time to boil the bones for a long time your broth will be in a solid gelatin form which is highly nutritious and great for fighting a cold!  The bits of meat from the boiled carcass is also used in this chili recipe so don't toss out those bones until they are picked clean. Let's get started.

10 oz. dry mixed bean soup mix purchased, discard flavor packet
3 Tbl. olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely sliced
2 tea. ground cumin
1 tea. dry oregano
1/2 tea. dry mustard
1/4 tea. red pepper flakes
1 tea. salt
1/2 tea. black pepper
1/8 tea. sugar
4 cups home-made turkey broth
2 Tbl. mild green chilies (I used canned)
2 cups shredded turkey meat, light and dark
1/8 tea. liquid smoke

In a tall soup pot, add olive oil and saute finely diced onion until translucent, then add garlic, cumin, oregano, dry mustard, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper and sugar to activate spice oils and continue stirring until onions barely begin to an amber color (that's flavor).

Add turkey broth and mild green chili and simmer for 40 minutes until beans begin to turn tender. Add shredded turkey and continue to simmer for 10 minutes to meld all flavors. Stir in liquid smoke at the end as it tends to evaporate if added too early. Complete the meal with a fresh chunk or warm freshly baked cornbread. Serves 6 - 8.

At this point the chili is "juicy". If you continue to simmer with no lid, the liquid will reduce and beans will breakdown to create a thicker consistency. Or you can use a potato masher to bruise a few beans to speed up the thickening process.

fresh cilantro leaves
fresh lime juice
splash of heavy cream (as pictured above)
creme fraiche
fresh avocado slices
Fresh corn kernels
Fresh jalapeno slices
Shredded cheese, your choice

You can use canned chicken broth and shred a pre-cooked roasted chicken for a faster means to a terrific end.