My Own Turkey Chili Recipe

My son smoked the Thanksgiving turkey this year and it was delicious. With only two of us to eat, we had a lot of leftovers, which I froze.

Now it’s time to make some winter chili, and I broke out the turkey and broth from my freezer to make this recipe tasty.

Turkey chili recipe
My version of chili made with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving

To begin, I got out my LeCrueset Dutch Oven, which I love.

I sautéed lots of green pepper (from my garden) and onions in oil for a few minutes. Then I added chopped garlic and cooked a bit longer. Then I added the turkey broth (thawed), can of organic diced tomatoes, and spices. I chopped the leftover turkey into bite size pieces and threw it in. The spices I used were parsley and basil from my garden. Dried spices would work too. I had bought some jalapeño peppers at the local farm stand so I chopped a small amount of one jalapeño to add some heat.

To begin with uncooked meat, brown it first then remove from the pan.  Add the pepper and onion with oil and sauté.  Add the liquid broth and scrape the bottom of the pan.  Add meat, spices and tomatoes.

It’s really your choice about how hot and spicy you want your chili to be. I like a little heat, but not overwhelming. If you don’t have flavored broth, use broth granules in water. About a cup or 2 is needed depending on the amount of meat, tomatoes and veggies you use. I basically wing it!

Once those ingredients simmer for about an hour, I add the black beans (or kidney beans can be used) with the liquid (I use organic beans only). Then I simmer for at least another half hour.  Don’t add the beans too soon or they will get mushy.

Because our turkey was smoked, this chili has a slight smoky flavor. Between the jalapeño pepper and spices and melding of the flavors while it slow-cooks, it turned out super yummy!

When I make chili or soup I fly by the seat of my pants and add whatever I have on hand or seems to work.

I had made a batch of cornbread (recipe on the cornmeal box) and froze it.  That way I had ready-made cornbread to add to my chili.

Use your freezer.  It’s your best friend.  BTW I froze a serving of this chili to enjoy later.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

cranberry sauce
Boiling the cranberries
Because I took ideas from more than one recipe, I need to write it down here.  Thanksgiving Day 2016 was spent in Florida, in my new home, with my two sons.

Because I didn’t have any cranberry sauce, but I had a bag of fresh cranberries, I made my own sauce.  Here’s how I did it.

Rinse cranberries and pick out defective ones.

Dump them into a pan.  Add 1/3 cup of water or cranberry juice (I used juice – real, not sweetened).  Add 1 cup of sugar.  I would cut down on the sugar, or use real Maple Syrup in it’s place.  One recipe called for syrup.  How I wish I was in NH where the syrup is plentiful.

Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Cook until it looks mushy.  Add orange juice – how much?.  (I had an orange so I squeezed the juice and added that.)

I also added some cinnamon.  

The sauce came out very tasty, if chunky.  I could strain the chunks out, but don’t have to. I plan to use this new recipe each Thanksgiving, even if I am the only one who will eat it.

My Thanksgiving Day 2016

screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-1-48-12-pmI have to write about my Thanksgiving Day so next year I will remember what I cooked and how it turned out.  Because this year I did a couple of things differently and I want to do them again!

First, my son smoked a turkey.  He took care of the bird, and it came out yummy.  I took the  neck, kidneys, liver and neck (is that what those things are?) … anyway, the inside stuff… and made stock, or broth.  I then used that stock to make the stuffing and gravy.  It was tasty.

Because we were having our heating / AC unit replaced the day before Thanksgiving, I never got to the store to buy my wine (I drank whiskey instead), or pick up some cranberry sauce, I decided to make my own … cranberry sauce that is. Here is how I made it.

We also had mashed potatoes, and I never got around to cooking a vegetable, but my sons don’t care about that, so it was okay.  I will cook veggies to go with the leftovers.

I am in Florida now, so it was a hot and sunny day.  Not too hot, but shorts and sleeveless tops hot.  My son smoked up the neighborhood while cooking the bird, but I think all the neighbors were gone.  It was a quiet and peaceful day.

We still don’t have living room furniture, and the table was crammed with stuff that needs to be put somewhere, so we sat in chairs and watched tv.  We’ve only been living in the new house for about a month now.  Then the boys played some video games, which was fun to watch.  I called my son in Kentucky and my daughter in New Hampshire.  I’ve given up thinking that one day we can all be together for a holiday.

The thing I was most thankful for was the dishwasher.