Monday, November 26, 2007

What's in a Name: Light Leftover Turkey Chili ... Stew ... Chili

Today’s recipe discussion will take place in the form of a one-act play.

ME: a tall, brunette Brooklynite whose kitchen skills are tapped after cooking two Thanksgiving dinners for 24 people.
MY BRAIN: a floating, squishy mass of neurons and synapses that directs ME where to go and what to do (some of the time, successfully)

November, 2007. A blue kitchen with inadequate cabinet space. ME is leaning on the counter, ruminating.

ME (out loud): Man. I’ve just arrived home from three incredibly loud days with my family. And despite shoveling comestibles into my seemingly never-ending stomach for 72 hours straight, I’m still hungry. How could this have happened?

MY BRAIN enters from the backyard.

MY BRAIN: Well, ME, it could be your age or your metabolism. Or, maybe you should stop hanging out exclusively in the kitchen when you’re home.

ME: AUGH! Dear god, what ARE you?

MY BRAIN: I’m your brain, freed temporarily from your skull for the sake of a blog post.

ME: Oh. Whew. I thought you were a mugger or something. Though, you have no arms, so I guess that would be kind of hard.

MY BRAIN: Yes. My lack of appendages makes it very difficult to stab things. (ME takes a step back.) Anyway, what were you thinking about for dinner?

ME: Well, I have 20 ounces of leftover Thanksgiving turkey and a few cans of beans. Maybe an onion? That’s pretty much it.

MY BRAIN: Chili, my dear. Go with the chili.

ME: Chili! Of course. I should have thought of that ... which I guess I technically did … hmm. We might have canned tomatoes - a 28-oz can of Redpack diced plum, I think.

MY BRAIN: Great! Diced tomatoes make it more of a stew, but it’s a good thing, methinks. Since you’re using turkey that’s already been cooked, the extra tomato will keep it moist.

ME: But won’t all this canned food take me dangerously close to She Who Shall Not Be Named territory?

MY BRAIN: Er, maybe. But the end product will be so tasty! AND I’ll conveniently forget this ever happened! That way, you won’t feel the Semi-Homemade guilt, and no one will know.

ME: But it’s going in a blog post.

MY BRAIN: Er, right. Hey! Look over there! A shiny thing!

ME: Oooo. Shiny thing.


(Side Note: I had no idea what to call this in the end, but it was good. Real good. And it’s a stellar way to rid yourself of turkey on the brink of spoiling.)

(Side Note #2: My calculations are based on 10 oz. of dark meat and 10 oz. of white meat.)

Leftover Turkey Chili … Stew … Chili
6 ample servings
Inspired by All Recipes.

1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 1-1/2 lbs leftover turkey, cut into ½” chunks
21 oz diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can kidney beans, liquid included
1 14 oz can black beans, liquid included
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1-1/2 tablespoon chili powder
2 t cumin
dash cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft.

2) Add the turkey and cook just long enough so it’s warm.

3) Add the tomatoes, beans, oregano, basil, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and red wine vinegar. Stir.

4) Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45-50 minutes.

5) Remove cover and let liquid reduce for 15-20 minutes.

6) If necessary, season to taste. (My bird was brined, so the chili didn’t need much salt. - Kris) Serve with grated cheddar if you’re feeling saucy.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price per Serving
327 calories, 10.6 g fat, $0.63

1 T olive oil: 120 calories, 14 g fat, $0.08
1 onion: 46 calories, 0.1 g fat, $0.20
2 cloves garlic: 10 calories, 0 g fat, $0.10
1 to 1-1/2 lbs leftover turkey: 1038 calories, 44.2 g fat, $0.80
21 oz diced tomatoes: 118 calories, 0 g fat, $1.27
1 14 oz can kidney beans: 315 calories, 3.5 g fat, $0.50
1 14 oz can black beans: 315 calories, 1.75 g fat, $0.50
1 T dried oregano: negligible calories and fat, $0.06
1 T dried basil: negligible calories and fat, $0.06
1-1/2 T chili powder: negligible calories and fat, $0.06
2 t cumin: negligible calories and fat, $0.04
dash cayenne pepper: negligible calories and fat, $0.01
1 T red wine vinegar: negligible calories and fat, $0.08
Salt and pepper to taste: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
TOTAL: 1962 calories, 63.55 g fat, $3.78
PER SERVING (TOTAL/6): 327 calories, 10.6 g fat, $0.63

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