Leftover Turkey: A Different Kind of Chilli

Every year on the 26th December I stare at the turkey leftovers and ask myself: what shall we create this time? Our family standard is to pretend that turkey is venison – we reheat it in a sauce we otherwise usually make with game and serve it with Spätzli and some veg. However, this year I felt like mixing it up a little, checked out some recipes online and decided to attempt this one. Admittedly, it doesn’t remind me all too much of the chilli con carne I usually make, but it was still tasty. Let me know what you think!

 Chilli con Turkey


adapted from jamieoliver

Serves 6

You’ll need

olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 fresh green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
1 heaped teaspoon runny honey, optional
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, optional
600 g turkey, leftover, shredded
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 x 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
400 g tinned chickpeas, drained
juice of 2 limes

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan.
  2. Heat a few lugs of olive oil in a large casserole-type pan on a medium heat. Add your onions, carrot, leek, peppers and chillies, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cumin and paprika, cook for another 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently until soft and delicious. At this point you can add some honey and white wine vinegar… I forgot to do this… apparently it enhances the sweetness of the veggies.
  4. Add the turkey to the pan along with some salt and pepper. Finally stir in the tomatoes and chickpeas. If using a casserole dish pop the lid on top and off into the oven for 2 hours. If using a non-oven proof pot, transfer your pan contents into a high-edged gratin dish and cover with aluminium foil before popping into the oven for 2 hours. Check on it after an hour, and add a splash of water if it looks a bit dry.
  5. After 2 hours take the chilli out of the oven and scrape all the gnarly bits from the edge of the pan back into the chilli for added flavour. Squeeze in some lime juice, taste to check the seasoning then serve with couscous or tortillas or cornbread, leftover stuffing or even cranberry sauce.

Rating: 8/10

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