Smoky Turkey Chili

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Smoky Turkey Chili
Photo: © John Kernick
Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 5 pounds turkey legs with skin

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 2 large onions, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons ancho chile powder

  • 2 tablespoons chipotle chile powder

  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 quart water

  • One 2-pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice

  • Two 15-ounce cans black beans, drained

  • 4 large poblano chiles—roasted, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste


  1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Season the turkey with salt and pepper; cook over moderate heat until browned, 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the garlic and onions to the casserole and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 minutes. Add the ancho and chipotle chile powders, cumin and cloves and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and water; bring to a simmer.

  2. Return the turkey to the casserole; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 2 hours. Transfer the turkey to a plate and let cool slightly. Discard the bones and skin and cut the meat into bite-size pieces.

  3. Skim the fat from the chili. Add the squash and turkey. Simmer over low heat until the squash is tender, 15 minutes. Add the beans and poblanos. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle 1 cup of chili into a bowl. Stir in the tomato paste until dissolved, then stir the chili back into the casserole. Simmer for 5 minutes, then serve in mugs or bowls.


One Serving 398 calories, 9.2 gm total fat, 2.0 gm saturated fat, 42 gm carb.

Serve With

Cilantro leaves, low-fat sour cream and corn bread.

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