Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Frozen turkey? Make White Turkey Chili.

I am trying to reduce the amount of frozen food in my freezer. I had a large bag of shredded turkey breast from a Sunday dinner in January. I might have mentioned before that the number of my family living at home has shrunk but I am still cooking for 6. We have a second home about 10 miles from a turkey processing plant. Cristie actually did a piece about it on her blog. Read more about it here. They sell a deboned turkey breast that is "to die for". It is not processed, but is a whole breast injected with real turkey broth without additives, and I will never brine another turkey again. Their Sweetheart turkey roast is so easy, and good that we eat this turkey fairly often. The problem is: I am still cooking for a crowd. So after roasting, I will shred the turkey, cool it, and put it in a food saver bag and freeze it. That way it is fresh, and we don't have to eat "leftovers". I can pull those bags out and use them for enchiladas, soup, jambalaya, and my white chili. They are real time saves and I like that I get to serve my family healthy protein that they love.

I needed to take a dinner in to a friend and I have some turkey calling to me from the freezer. What's a girl to do? "Why", say I, "I think I'll make some white turkey chili". I got my supplies ready and realized that my white chili would have to be red, white, and black chili.   Here's the recipe.

White Chili
1 Lb. dried small white navy beans or can use 2 Lbs. total, any combination of canned beans
2 onions, chopped
1-48 oz. can chicken broth
4 C. chopped cooked chicken or turkey
1-4 oz. can chopped jalapeño peppers
6 to 8 cloves of garlic, minced
3 Tab. fresh oregano, chopped or 1 Tabs. dried
4 tsp. ground cumin
1 ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 C. sour cream
3 C. shredded white cheese ( I use whatever I have on hand but I like Monterey Jack)

Rinse the dried beans and sort for rocks. Put beans in a large bowl; cover with water (at least one inch above the beans). Let soak overnight. Drain.

Put the beans, broth, and onions in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1/1/2 hours.

Put chicken, jalapeños, garlic, oregano, cumin, and cayenne to the beans and simmer for another 60 minutes or until beans are cooked through. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and sour cream. Stir just until cheese is melted and sour cream is combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 12 generously.

*If using canned beans:
Simmer the onions in the broth for 15 minutes. Add the meat, jalapeños, garlic, and spices. Simmer for another 45 minutes to one hour (until the beans are cooked through). Stir in the cheese and sour cream as directed above.

When you don't have enough white beans, you just have to improvise. That's the problem with using items you have on hand.  We discovered that it is just as good with a mix of beans. The broth part is a bit darker (it sort of looks Valentine-ish, don't you think?  I should have made this 2 days ago.) but it tastes the same.   It does look a little bland, but it's supposed to.  It's white chili.

This is one of our favorite chilis even if it's not so colorful  It's pleasantly hot and spicy. If you don't like the heat, just decrease the cayenne pepper and the jalapenos. We like it spicy, and I serve it with a crusty bread or cornbread and sometimes a salad. This is the perfect dish for a drizzly winter day.

And when Erin came home from the slopes, she was excited to get a bowl. That's the best reward...a family of happy diners.


  1. I love white chili and what a great piece of luck to have different colored beans in there- it is so colorful, I like it! Where can we get the recipe?

  2. It's up now Cristie. Sorry, I mistakenly left the recipe out. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.