- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 22, 2005

After the creamy comfort of Thanksgiving dinner, your taste buds might like to kick up their heels a bit. If that

sounds intriguing, consider adding the spicy tang of the Caribbean jerk seasoning to leftover turkey in this simple chili recipe.

You’ll find the sweet-hot seasoning on the spice aisle of your supermarket. In close proximity, you’ll locate canned white beans, the other ingredient needed to pull off this chili. You most likely have a little olive oil, an onion and a bouillon cube in your kitchen right now.

Should the jerk seasoning seem too adventuresome, don’t panic. You can just as easily add ground cumin to taste to give it a more Mexican flavor.

To round out the meal, add a pan of hot corn bread or garlic bread, a cool and refreshing coleslaw.

For dessert? What else? Reheated slices of pumpkin pie, garnished with good vanilla ice cream. Even thrill-seeking taste buds appreciate leftover pumpkin pie.

Five time-shaving ways to use leftover turkey

Hopefully, you roasted too much turkey for Thanksgiving and have leftovers. Remove it from the bone, then chop it into 1-inch pieces to use in these easy ways:

• Make a turkey Waldorf salad by combining the turkey with cubed apple, chopped celery and walnuts, and enough mayonnaise to pull the salad together.

• Create turkey panini by placing slices of turkey, a spoonful of cranberry sauce and shredded cheddar cheese between two slices of sturdy bread that have been lightly spread with mayonnaise. Pan-fry or griddle in a little oil on both sides until browned and the cheese has melted. Press down on the sandwich as it cooks to get the classic panini look.

• Add turkey to your favorite vegetable soup recipe for a satisfying turkey soup.

• Toss 4 cups cooked spaghetti with 11/2 cups pasta sauce, 1 10.75-ounce-can cream of mushroom soup, 2 cups chopped turkey and 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Turn into a shallow baking dish and cook at 400 degrees until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Voila: turkey spaghetti.

• My favorite holiday leftover meal: turkey hash. Brown 2 cups of frozen cubed potatoes, onions and bell peppers in a little olive oil or butter, then add 2 cups chopped turkey, a can of low-sodium chicken broth, a clove of pressed garlic, and salt and hot pepper sauce to taste. Let simmer over medium-low heat until the broth reduces and the potatoes are cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

Caribbean turkey chili

The preparation time is 8 to 10 minutes; the cooking time is 18 minutes.

1 medium-size sweet onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups cubed, cooked turkey

1 teaspoon jerk seasoning

2 15.5-ounce cans white beans, including liquid

1 chicken-flavored bouillon cube

Dash hot red pepper sauce, or more to taste

1 tablespoon whipping cream, optional (see note)

Chopped fresh chives or cilantro or mango for garnish

Cut onion in half lengthwise, then cut each half crosswise into thin half-moon slices. You’ll need 1 cup.

Place olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add sliced onion and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until soft, 3 minutes. Add turkey and jerk seasoning; cook, stirring, until turkey is coated with seasoning, 1 minute longer.

Remove pan from heat and stir in beans with their liquid and bouillon cube and hot pepper sauce. Fill one of the bean cans with water, add this to the pan and stir.

Place pan over high heat until liquid comes to a boil and bouillon cube dissolves. Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and let chili simmer for 10 minutes. Add cream to chili, if desired, stir, cover and cook for 2 minutes longer.

Ladle chili into serving bowls and serve garnished with chopped chives, cilantro or mango. Makes 6 servings.

Note: You can omit the cream; sour cream can be used as a garnish.


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