Jerk Turkey and Zucchini Chili

by smokinchestnut

All right, I must admit — the original recipe called for rotisserie chicken and I used it. And it was delicious. However, that does not detract from the fact that the gargantuan turkey you just made on Thanksgiving (the same one that gave you gobs of leftover meat) will work perfectly in this dish. Trust me, the same family that is groaning “No more turkey!” will soon dive into this dish as if they’ve never tasted that once-a-year bird.

And oh my goodness, this chili is amazing. My husband and I (I still get a giddy thrill when I say the word “husband.” It’s all still so new and weird and awesome) practically fought over the leftovers for this one. The flavors! When a friend of mine (thank you, Amanda!) sent me this recipe I instantly knew it was going to be tasty even before her gushing review. Thyme, cinnamon, allspice? Tomatoes, japapeños and chocolate?? OK, I’m in. It’s a super quick recipe to throw in a big ol’ pot and the smells that fill the kitchen will bring you to your knees. Then you put in the chopped chocolate. Mmm, chocolate. How many times can I say chocolate in one post? Probably more if I were actually talking about a chocolate dessert, but seriously, this chili is super simple and very easy to tweak to your own tastes.

I nixed the bell peppers and added zucchini because I’m always trying to add veggies (except bell peppers) to dishes and zucchini routinely fits that bill. It ended up being perfect but feel free to mix and match the vegetables of your choice. Also, if you like your chili with less bite, tone down the chopped japapeños. Personally, I’m always having to hold back on the spices for fear of driving my husband away.

Jerk Turkey and Zucchini Chili
slightly adapted from Smells Like Home

serves 6

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
6 cups shredded turkey or 1 large rotisserie chicken
2 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
4 cups chicken broth
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, with juice
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained
1 can (15 oz) white beans, drained
3 tbsp pickled jalapeños, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water (optional thickening agent)
sour cream/plain Greek yogurt
chopped cilantro

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat and add onions, stirring until softened (roughly 5 minutes). Add chili powder, thyme, cinnamon, and allspice until fragrant, (roughly 1 minute).

Add chicken and zucchini, stir and blend with spices. Add broth, tomatoes, black and white beans, jalapeños and bring to a boil. Cover partially and reduce heat to simmer (roughly 20 minutes).

Add garlic, cilantro, chopped chocolate, and optional cornstarch slurry. If adding cornstarch, bring heat to medium-high heat and thicken chili. Turn off heat and allow chili to thicken (roughly 5-10 minutes) before serving with sour cream/plain Greek yogurt and additional chopped cilantro. Dive on in like turkey is your best friend.