Thanksgiving Leftovers: Jerk Turkey Chili


Thanksgiving is almost here and I’ve already been brainstorming creative ways to use up the leftovers. And I’m not doing it for myself. Nope, as I mentioned earlier in the week, we’re heading to the beach for the long holiday weekend and I don’t plan to do any cooking while I’m there. It’s all about rest and relaxation, so we’ll be dining out. That means there will be no leftovers to dispose of in our house.

However, I have a feeling that several of you will have a big platter of turkey left when the day is done, so what to do with it? This recipe is a great way to use up quite a bit of it, and the interesting flavors you’ll encounter won’t likely remind you of anything you had on your Thanksgiving Day buffet.

The original recipe called for a shredded rotisserie chicken, and that works great, so if you aren’t ready to make this chili now, save it for another time. It’ll be a fairly quick and very satisfying dinner on a cold evening this winter.


Jerk Turkey Chili

Makes 8 servings. Adapted from Pam Anderson.


1 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

3 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp chipotle chili powder

1 1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground allspice

6 cups cooked, shredded turkey meat*

1 quart chicken broth

2 (14.5 oz) cans stewed or diced tomatoes

1 (16-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (16-oz) can white beans, undrained

4 Tbsp chopped pickled jalapeños

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 oz dark chocolate

1 1/2 tsp flour

1 Tbsp water


Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until softened, about five minutes. Add chili powder, chipotle chile powder, hyme, cinnamon and allspice. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about one minute. Add turkey and stir to coat with spices. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, and jalapeños, bring to a boil.

In a small bowl, mix flour and water to create a paste. Pour the paste into the chili, stirring for 5 minutes to thicken. Reduce heat to low, cover partially, and simmer to blend flavors, about 30 minutes. Stir in garlic, cilantro and chocolate. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand for five to 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend, then serve.

*1 whole, shredded rotisserie chicken can be substituted