Rich Turkey Chili with Bacon, Dark Beer & Chocolate

My daughter and I really enjoy watching Queer Eye on Netflix together. It is so positive and full of love. She is particularly a fan of Antoni, the chef. We were excited to check out his cookbook! ūüôā

This fabulous chili recipe was adapted from Antoni in the Kitchen by Antoni Porowski. I modified the proportions. It was rich, full-flavored, and hearty. We ate it with lots of toppings, cornbread muffins and green salad. I’m planning to make it again to serve on a really chilly evening. Everyone loved it.

Super Bowl 2021 Update: This chili was absolutely delicious served with beer bread.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

For the Chili:

  • 1/3 to 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips (4-5 slices)
  • 1 3/4 to 2 pounds ground turkey, preferably dark meat
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 medium or 1 1/2 large onions, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into small cubes
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 5 to 8¬†large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, seeded (if desired), finely chopped, plus 1 to 2 T adobo sauce (I didn’t seed the chile)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 (15-oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (12-oz) bottle dark beer (such as Guiness or Negra Modelo)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (scant 1/2 cup) (I used 72% cacao)
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp molasses or dark brown sugar

For the Toppings:

  • sliced avocado
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • grated cheddar
  • diced red or white onion
  • pickled jalape√Īos
  • sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • lime wedges
  1. In a large Dutch oven or other wide heavy pot with a lid, cook the bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. (I used a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a large bowl.
  2. Cook the turkey in the remaining bacon fat over high heat, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat into small bits with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  3. Season turkey with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, then transfer and any juices to the bowl with the bacon.
  4. Heat the oil in the same pot over medium to medium-high heat.
  5. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and the onions are golden, about 8 minutes.
  6. Stir in the tomato paste and garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring, then stir in the chipotle and adobo sauce, oregano, cumin, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the beans, crushed tomatoes, beer, stock, chocolate, and turkey-bacon mixture. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chili is deeply flavorful, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vinegar and molasses or brown sugar.
  9. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Serve hot with toppings, as desired.

Turkey Corn Chowder with Bacon

This chowder was the best use of leftover turkey I’ve found so far. It was so wonderful, it may have to become the traditional recipe for leftover Thanksgiving turkey in my house. It was loaded with flavor and topped with bacon. A guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

This recipe was adapted from Epicurious.com, contributed by Rhoda Boone. It would also be wonderful with shredded rotisserie chicken.

Yield: Serves 8

  • 6 slices bacon (4 ounces)
  • 1 medium or large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds (halved lengthwise if large)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 medium jalape√Īo, finely chopped, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 6 cups (48 ounces) homemade or store-bought chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Two 4-ounce cans mild diced green chiles, drained
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 4 cups shredded turkey or rotisserie chicken
  • 10 ounces frozen corn, thawed
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half, plus more to taste
  • sliced scallions, for serving
  • chopped parsley, for serving
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Drain on a paper towel and crumble into small pieces and set aside, reserving the fat in the pot. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat, and save for another use.
  3. Return the pot to medium heat, and add onion, carrot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes more.
  5. Add jalape√Īo and cumin and cook, stirring, 1 minute more.
  6. Add stock, sweet potato, chiles, oregano, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cook until sweet potato is tender, about 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in the turkey or chicken and corn and cook until warmed through, 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and half-and-half. Continue to cook until just warmed through.
  9. Taste and adjust seasoning, thinning the chowder with another 1/4 cup half-and-half, if desired.
  10. Serve chowder topped with crumbled bacon, scallions, and parsley.

Turkey √† la King

Is it okay to make a comfort food dish using leftovers from a comfort food meal? Hope so! ūüėČ

This dish reminds me of a chicken dish that I used to make –long ago– for my husband served over waffles. No wonder he loved this upgraded version! It was a wonderful way to use the rest of our leftover Thanksgiving turkey. It would also be fabulous with rotisserie chicken meat.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Sam Sifton. I doubled the recipe to accommodate all of my leftover turkey. We ate this creamy concoction with my favorite Sweet Potato Biscuits, but it would also be amazing served over waffles, as a crepe filling, or with noodles. My son ate some over toast. Great.

  • 1 stick (8¬†tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2-3 T olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock, low-sodium if store-bought
  • 1 pound sliced mushrooms, ideally wild (I used cremini mushrooms)
  • 3 cups shredded cooked turkey or rotisserie chicken
  • 1¬†cup heavy cream or half & half
  • 2¬†cups frozen peas
  • 4¬†tablespoons dry sherry
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • finely chopped parsley, for garnish
  1. Make a roux. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. When it begins to foam, sprinkle the flour over it, and whisk to combine, then continue whisking until it begins to turn the color of straw, approximately 7-10 minutes.
  2. Slowly add 1 cup of the stock to this mixture, and stir to combine. Add more stock to thin the sauce. Keep warm.
  3. Set a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil.
  4. Add the mushrooms, and cook, until the mushrooms have released their moisture and begun to get glossy and soft, approximately 7-10 minutes.
  5. Add the turkey (or chicken), then the warm sauce and cream, and stir to combine.
  6. Add the peas, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is hot and has thickened slightly, approximately 7-10 minutes.
  7. Stir in the sherry, adjust seasonings and serve over biscuits or toast, rice or buttered noodles, or as a crepe filling or waffle topping, garnished with the parsley.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Four Years Ago:

Five Years Ago:

Turkey & Spinach Curry

IMG_1689 (1)

This is a great dish to make with leftover holiday turkey. It has such a different flavor profile and it is quick and easy to make. I adapted the recipe from The New York Times, contributed by Mark Bittman. I increased the amount of turkey, spinach, tomatoes, garlic, and onion in addition to adding fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavor.

Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 large yellow or sweet¬†onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¬ľ to ¬Ĺ teaspoon turmeric
  • ‚Öõ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 28 oz can whole¬†tomatoes with juice, chopped (or diced tomatoes with juice)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1¬†pound fresh organic baby spinach, washed and trimmed of thick stems
  • 3 cups leftover turkey, white or dark meat or a combination, roughly chopped or shredded
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon, or more to taste
  • Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish
  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; add onion, garlic and ginger and cook until they begin to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne and cook, stirring, until spices are fragrant, about another minute.
  3. Add tomatoes and their juices and coconut milk and sprinkle with salt and pepper; bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until tomatoes break down.
  4. Add spinach and turkey to pan and continue to cook until spinach wilts and turkey is warmed through, another 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add fresh lemon juice, adjust seasoning, garnish with cilantro and serve.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Basic Turkey Stock

IMG_6626

Using homemade stock to make soup has amazing results- the difference from store-bought is unreal!  This stock has a rich and beautiful color- after cooking for 8 hours. I look forward to making it and using in my winter soups every year after Thanksgiving. This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living.

Yield:  Makes 9 to 10 quarts

  • 5 pounds leftover Thanksgiving turkey bones (with some meat still attached), broken into large sections if necessary (I break them down after they have been cooking for a while)
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled, roots intact, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 1/2 pound carrots, cut into 4-inch lengths
  • 1/2 pound celery stalks, cut into 4-inch lengths
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, or to taste
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • 8 sprigs parsley and 2-3 sprigs of other fresh herbs such as thyme
  • parmesan rind, optional
  • water, to cover
  1. In a large stock pot (I use an enormous pasta pot),¬†combine all ingredients and fill with enough cold water to cover everything by 3 inches when submerged. (The turkey bones always reach the top of my pot until I am able to break them down.) If you don’t have a large stockpot, use two smaller pots.
  2. Bring to a rapid simmer over high (do not boil); reduce heat until bubbles barely break the surface. Simmer until flavorful, about 6 to 8 hours, skimming stock with a ladle every hour. Keep the stock at a bare simmer; a hard boil would evaporate too much liquid and make the stock cloudy. Any fat that remains after skimming can be easily removed once the stock is chilled.
  3. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard vegetables. Remove meat from bones and save for another use, if desired; discard bones. Let stock cool completely before refrigerating.
  4. After refrigerating, skim the solidified fat off of the surface. Decant into storage containers. (I use quart-sized take-out containers.) To store, refrigerate, up to 1 week, or freeze, up to 6 months.

IMG_6633

Spice-Rubbed Roast Turkey

IMG_6480

The first time I made this roast turkey it seemed like I used an unreal amount of paprika– but it was so fabulous! It also gives the gravy beautiful dark, rich color. My father-in-law said that it was the best turkey he has ever had! ūüôā

I rubbed the paprika inside and outside the turkey prior to roasting. Despite being tented with foil, the paprika became quite dark. Next time, I would rub it under the skin rather than on top, even though the skin was quite delicious. The meat was very moist and flavorful which I attribute to using a brined turkey (Trader Joe’s) and using an in-oven thermometer which turns off the oven when the meat reaches 165 degrees. Perfect. This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living.

  • 1 whole fresh¬†turkey¬†(20 to 24 pounds) (I used 21 pounds)
  • 2 navel oranges, halved (I used 4 small organic navel oranges)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ground Aleppo pepper or paprika, plus more if desired
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees on convection. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Tuck wings under turkey. Season outside of turkey generously with salt, and sprinkle with pepper. Transfer to a large roasting pan. Squeeze 1 orange (2 if small) over turkey. Gently rub seasonings into turkey, including under and on top of the skin. Pour stock into the bottom of the roasting pan.
  2. Heat juice of remaining orange(s), butter, and wine in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter melts. Roast turkey, basting every half hour with melted-butter mixture until thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. (Halfway through, rotate pan and cover with foil.)
  3. Let turkey stand for 30 minutes. Transfer to a platter or large cutting board; reserve pan juices in roasting pan for Aleppo pepper gravy. Carve turkey.

IMG_6503

One Year Ago:

Herb-Roasted Turkey with Wild Mushroom Gravy


When we moved to Long Island, one of our Thanksgiving family traditions was to purchase a fresh turkey from the local butcher. ¬†Last year, when I had a second refrigerator for the first time, I purchased our turkey at Trader Joe’s because it was brined, and because I could store it. ¬†My husband was skeptical. ¬†It was the best turkey EVER. ¬†We did it again this year, and we were not disappointed.

The Wild Mushroom Gravy was beyond amazing.  My brother helped prepare it, and he was very proud with the results.  This recipe is from Food and Wine.

Herb Roasted Turkey

For the Turkey:

  • 1 loaf of ciabatta, about 1 pound (if cooking the turkey upside-down)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme, plus 4 large sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage, plus 4 large sprigs
  • coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • One 19- to 20-pound turkey, neck and gizzard reserved
  • 1 large apple (I used a Granny Smith)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large celery rib, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for rubbing
  • 2 cups of chicken stock

For the Gravy:

  • 2-3 tablespoons small dried porcini pieces (or mixed dried wild mushrooms)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 24 oz golden chanterelles or a mix of cremini and oyster mushrooms, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 3 large shallots, minced
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth, plus pan drippings
  1. Let turkey stand at room temperature for one hour. Remove from packaging, drain brine, if applicable, and dry with paper towels.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400¬į. In a small bowl, beat the butter with the garlic, chopped thyme and chopped sage and season with salt and pepper. (See note below if roasting the turkey upside-down.)
  3. Season the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper. Rub two-thirds of the herb butter under the skin and under the neck flap. Place the remaining butter in the cavity along with the thyme and sage sprigs. Tuck the wing tips under the bird and tie the legs together with kitchen string (optional).
  4. Tuck one half of the apple, rounded side out, under the neck flap, place the other half in the main cavity. Fold the neck skin under the body and secure with a skewer.
  5. Put the onion, carrot and celery in a large roasting pan. Set the turkey in the pan and add the neck (and gizzard).
  6. Rub the turkey all over with olive oil.
  7. Roast the turkey in the lower third of the oven for 30 minutes.
  8. Reduce the oven temperature to 325¬į and continue to roast, basting occasionally, for 2 to 3 hours longer, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165¬į when inserted in an inner thigh (I have had great success using the temperature probe that works through the oven.).
  9. Transfer the turkey to a carving board and let rest in a warm place for at least 25 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  10. In a small bowl, cover the porcini with 1/4 cup of hot water. Let stand until softened, about 10 minutes.
  11. In a large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the chanterelle mushrooms and the shallots and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden brown and tender, about 8 minutes.
  12. Lift the porcini from the soaking liquid and add to the skillet. Cover and remove the skillet from the heat.
  13. Set a coarse strainer over a medium bowl. Pour in the juices and vegetables from the roasting pan and press on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Skim the fat off of the juices and reserve 2 tablespoons. (I use a fat separator.)
  14. In a large saucepan, stir the reserved fat with the flour until smooth; cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
  15. Gradually whisk in the strained juices and the stock and bring to a simmer, whisking.
  16. Add to the mushroom mixture and simmer over low heat, whisking often, until no floury taste remains, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  17. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.

2016 UPDATE:

Note: To modify this recipe and cook the turkey upside-down:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection. Place the roasting pan on a rimmed cookie sheet.
  2. Prepare the turkey and pan as described above.
  3. Slice the ciabatta horizontally and butter the cut sides of the bread generously.
  4. Set a V-shaped wire rack in the roasting pan and place the slices of bread side-by-side lengthwise, buttered-sides up on the rack.
  5. Place the turkey breast-side down, so it rests on the bread (not directly on the rack). Place in oven and roast 60 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and, using silicone oven mitts, carefully flip the turkey breast-side up.
  7. Add the stock into the pan. Season the skin with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  8. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, preferably on convection.
  9. Continue to cook, basting occasionally with pan juices, until the thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees.
  10. Let rest one hour before carving.

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