White Smoked Turkey Chili
Chef Reina Gascon-Lopez
Thanksgiving was very different for a lot of us this year and I wanted to share a delicious recipe with y’all that you can whip up after the holiday passes (that you hopefully safely enjoyed according to proper CDC guidelines and recommendations). I had some leftover smoked turkey breast from another recipe I created and decided to make a warming and comforting white chili with it. Big kudos to my younger brother for suggesting I make this, because I definitely have been in a rut lately with planning out new recipes and I was super excited to get this one done.
My ongoing partnership with Spice Tribe has not only helped me stay creative in the kitchen, but it’s helped build a little community that shares the same excitement about experimenting with new flavors while cooking. I used two of their spices, the Maras Chile Flakes and the Mombacho Café blend. The chile flakes are made from the Maras chile, also known as the Aleppo pepper, and it’s mild heat and earthy flavor worked really well here. The Mombacho Café is a blend of roasted garlic, citrus zest, cumin, oregano, and espresso that was such a good combination of spices to compliment the flavor profile of most chilis, it was a no brainer to use it for some added depth that you would often miss out on with poultry.
If you don’t have any leftover turkey on hand, you can definitely substitute chicken for this recipe, especially if you’d like to make this on any other occasion. I really enjoyed this chili and crushed bowls for the next day or two after making it. I recommend serving the chili topped with the usual suspects: a big dollop of sour cream, some sliced avocado, and a handful of crunchy tortilla strips. Leftovers taste even better the next day so have fun with it! Let’s get cooking!
- Vegetable oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 large green bell pepper, de-seeded and diced
- Kosher salt, large pinch
- Black pepper, large pinch
- 1 - 4 oz can diced green chiles
- 2 small bay leaves
- 2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp Spice Tribe Maras Chile Flakes
2 tbsp Spice Tribe Mombacho Café Spice Blend
- .5 medium white sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 - 15.5 oz can cannellini beans, drained
- 1 - 15.5 oz can chickpeas, drained
- 2 cups leftover smoked turkey breast, cubed (see note)
- 8 cups smoked turkey stock (or chicken stock)
- 3 cups frozen sweet corn
- .5 cup fine pre-cooked cornmeal (see note)
- 2 cups milk, divided (I use lactose-free milk)
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- Liquid smoke seasoning, to taste (optional)
- Sour cream, for garnish
- Ripe avocado, sliced, for garnish
- Tortilla strips, for garnish
- Hot sauce, for serving
- In a large pot, add enough vegetable oil to lightly coat the bottom. Over medium heat, sauté the onion, celery, and green bell pepper for about 7-10 minutes or until the veggies get a little burnty on the edges. Season with a large pinch of kosher salt and black pepper, stirring occasionally.
- Next, add the sweet potato, cannellini beans, and chickpeas, combing everything together. Then, add the can of diced green chiles, bay leaves, ground cumin, Maras chile flakes, and Mombacho Café spice blend. Stir well, making sure everything is mixed.
- Fold in the turkey and add the stock. Bring to a boil and let it roll for about 15 minutes. Add in the corn and cook for another 10. Then, in a small bowl, place the cornmeal and whisk in one cup of milk to make a slurry. Set aside. Pour in the remaining cup of milk into the pot, and then stir in the cornmeal slurry.
- Stir well and let the chili thicken up and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes. Adjust seasoning to your liking. If you didn’t use smoked turkey, you can add a little liquid smoke seasoning for some smoky flavor. Fold in the sliced green onions and serve with the garnishes. I like adding a little more of the chile flakes on top for some extra heat.
- ¡Buen provecho!
Note: I happened to have white sweet potatoes, but if you can’t find them, a plain sweet potato works just fine. And no worries if you don’t have a smoker, not everyone does. That’s okay! I had leftover smoked turkey from another recipe I created, so that’s what I used (roasted turkey would work beautifully). For some extra smoky flavor, I suggest substituting smoked sea salt instead of kosher salt or using the Liquid Smoke seasoning as suggested. As far as the cornmeal, you can find the fine pre-cooked cornmeal in the Latin food section of most grocery stores. I like using the P.A.N. harina brand.