[As a public service, bumped this forward from last year…Happy Thanksgiving!! A.L.]
OK, Joe wants to know what to do with all the leftover turkey. Variants on this recipe (hey, I’m not giving away all my secrets) have won three (out of four entered) chili cookoffs over the last ten years.
12 cups turkey chunks (leftovers, stripped off the carcass; leave off membrane/tendon where possible)
2 large yellow onions
3 heads of garlic
2 packages Carroll Shelby chili mix
2 27oz cans of red kidney beans
1 27 oz can pinto beans
1/2 cup canola oil
3 8oz bottles of beer (I use Henry Weinhardt, but any sub-premium beer would do)
1/4 cup tequila
4 oz Mexican chocolate
4 tbsp Chinese chili-garlic paste
approx 1/4 cup masa harina
1/4 lb turkey (or real) bacon
salt to taste
Strip the carcass, pile the chunks on a cutting board, chop them into 1″ cubes and put them aside.
Coarsely chop the onion and garlic.
Chop turkey (or real) bacon into 1/2″ strips. Saute in a large stockpot until partially cooked.
Add about 1/8 cup of oil, add onions and garlic, cook until soft – but not translucent.
Add turkey, stir and cook for approx 10 minutes over very low heat (just above simmer).
Add remainder of oil, add chili mix (reserve masa in mix as well as salt). Stir and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
Add chili-garlic sauce to taste.
Add enough beer to cover meat. Lower temp to simmer and let cook for 2 hours.
Remove from heat, let it cool, and refrigerate overnight.
Put pot back on stove at simmer, heat until simmering. It’s helpful here to have a diffuser (metal plate that goes under the pot) if you have a gas range.
Add drained beans (drain liquid in can before adding them to the mix).
Add mexican chocolate and tequila. Stir until chocolate is melted.
Add salt to taste.
Cook for 2 – 3 hours, until the liquid is almost cooked off and what remains is thick.
Add masa harina. Cook for 2 hours.
Season to taste, using cayenne for heat, brown sugar and masa harina to temper the heat if too hot.
Somehow the two-stage cooking process is key to making this work. Somehow the flavors meld much better in the fridge.
Make some cornbread and enjoy!