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Playing Turkey Chili with Apple Salsa and Crispy Tortilla Strips


  • 1 cup pilsner or amber beer
  • 6 corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • Olive or vegetable oil spray
  • Salt
  • 4 Ancho chilies, seeded and stemmed
  • 4 medium-heat chili peppers, such as Poblano or New Mexican Green
  • 1 quart turkey stock in a box
  • 2 pounds leftover roast turkey or ground turkey, white and dark meat combined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (half a palmful) each ground coriander, cumin, mustard and pimenton/smoked sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons pulled thyme leaves, from 5 to 6 sprigs, picked
  • 1 teaspoon honey or light agave
  • 1/2 cup brewed cold strong coffee
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal, Masa Harina or ground tortilla chips
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14.5-ounce can pinto or red kidney beans, drained
For the Salsa:
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • A handful cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 Honeycrisp apples, diced 1/4-inch
  • 1/4 cup pepitas, toasted


Serves: 6


Preheat oven to 400°F. Place tortilla strips on a baking sheet, spray with light coat of oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake to golden and crisp.
Place dried chili peppers in a pot and cover with stock. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer and reconstitute until soft, 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool. Purée stock and peppers in a food processor, and reserve.

Char fresh chili peppers over an open flame on a gas stove or under the broiler on high to char skins. Place in a bowl and cover with foil until cool. Peel and seed; chop.
If using leftover roast turkey, pull it into small bite-sized pieces. Heat olive oil in a soup pot/Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add onions, garlic, spices and thyme. If using fresh ground turkey, heat oil in a soup pot/Dutch oven over medium-high heat  then add meat; brown and crumble. Add onions and garlic and spices, thyme to ground meat.
Cook to soften onions, 5-6 minutes. Add coffee, stir 30 seconds, add beer, stir 30 more. Add honey and stock/Ancho purée then stir in cornmeal, Masa or chips, tomatoes and beans. Add pulled turkey to pot (if using) and simmer 20-30 minutes to thicken.
For the salsa, place jalapeño, onion, salt and lime juice in a bowl, and let rest 10-15 minutes. Add cilantro, apples and pepitas; adjust salt to taste.
Serve chili in bowls topped with tortilla strips and salsa.


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