A gloomy, wet, cold snap hit home this week as the final days of spring turkey season are unfolding. The gobblers are still strutting their stuff in full force, but I’ve decided to give them a break from my gun momentarily and focus on eating the birds that I’ve already killed. Given the NETFLIX (and chill?) weather, I realized it was the perfect time to fire up a big, comforting batch of wild turkey chili.
White meat lends itself well to white chili, so that’s the angle I’m taking with this recipe. Instead of going the tomato-based route, the base of this hearty blend is something almost else as near and dear to me as wild turkeys—beer. So grab the ingredients, pop a top on a brew (plus an extra to sip during the cooking sesh) and get your chili on.
What You Will Need
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 2 ground wild turkey breasts
- 1 12-ounce light beer (I used a honey wheat)
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 small can of chicken stock (or make your own wild turkey stock
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 stick butter
- 1 small can white beans (I used great northern beans)
- 1 small can whole sweet corn kernels
- 1 small package sliced mushrooms (use morels if you’ve got some!
- 1 large white onion
- 2 cups diced sweet peppers
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
Putting It All Together
First, let me give my reasoning for using ground wild turkey breasts vs. chunks. It’s simple: By running the meat through my Weston Grinder, all the ingredients and flavors in the chili will more fully infiltrate the meat during the cooking process. You can use small cubes of wild turkey meat if you wish, but this time I personally chose to go ground. Now, let’s get on with it.
Heat a cast-iron Dutch oven to medium-high. Add butter, let it melt, then add the veggies and ground turkey breasts. Hit it all with turmeric, cumin, lemon peel, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Cook until the meat just barely goes from pink to white. We’re purposefully adding only a handful of the seasonings at this point, as I feel like they blend better with the meat and veggies during the browning process.
Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a slow boil on the stovetop while stirring. Reduce heat and let it simmer until the liquid has evaporated to your liking. Cover the Dutch oven and let it simmer as long as possible before scooping copious amounts down your hungry hatch. It’ll only get better with time, but leftovers aren’t likely if you have guests.
It’s not the prettiest white chili on the planet, but my family judging panel agreed its personality won the show. Pair it with some thick-sliced, garlic-cheese ciabatta for dipping and you’ll earn bonus points.