Turkey Chile Verde

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1 Roast the poblano chiles: Roast the poblano chiles over a gas burner or under a broiler, until blackened almost all over. Place chiles in a paper bag, close the bag, and let the chiles steam in their own heat for a few minutes.

Remove the chiles from the bag, remove the charred skin, the stem and the seeds. (For a step-by-step, see How to roast chile peppers over a gas flame.)

2 Broil the tomatillos: Remove the papery husks from the tomatillos. Rinse the tomatillos with water (they may be a little sticky).

Slice the tomatillos in half and place cut-side-down on a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil. Toss the garlic cloves (peel on) in with the tomatillos.

Cook under a broiler until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Let cool to the touch, then remove the garlic cloves from their skins.

3 Make the salsa verde: Place tomatillos, garlic, jalapeño, poblanos, cilantro, salt, lime juice, and sugar in a blender. Start on a low speed and then increase the blender speed and purée until smooth. Set aside (can make a day ahead and refrigerate until needed).

4 Prepare the turkey thigh meat: Cut the turkey thigh meat into 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks, cutting away and discarding any tough gristly bits or big pieces of fat. Pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5 Brown the turkey: Heat olive oil in a large (6 to 8 qt) Dutch oven or high-sided sauté pan on medium high or high heat (hot enough to sear the meat).

Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan (a crowded pan will make it harder for the meat to brown), sear the chunks of turkey on all sides (do not stir the meat in the pan until they have browned well). Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

6 Sauté onions, add garlic: Add the chopped onion and the cumin to the pot, and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).

Add the garlic, cook for 30 seconds more.

7 Add turkey, tomatillo sauce, stock, spices to pot: Return the turkey to the pot. Add the tomatillo sauce and the chicken stock.

Add the chipotle powder, oregano, bay leaves, and ground clove. Add a teaspoon of salt, and a little freshly ground black pepper.

8 Simmer 3 to 4 hours: Bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to low (enough to maintain a low simmer), while the pot stays uncovered. Cook for 3 to 4 hours, uncovered, until the turkey is tender.

If at some point you think that too much liquid is going to evaporate, cover the pan. Otherwise keep it uncovered. You want the sauce to become more concentrated. Adjust seasonings to taste. You may need to add more salt than you would expect.

Serve in a bowl, with chopped fresh cilantro, and sides such as chopped avocado, thinly sliced lettuce that has been seasoned with vinegar and salt, sliced radishes, thinned sour cream or crema fresca, and with fresh heated tortillas or tortilla chips. Or serve with rice and beans, or wrapped up in a large flour tortilla, burrito style.

Turkey chili verde with white beans

They say you teach best what you most need to learn, and when it comes to entertaining, I know exactly what lesson I’m working on: Keep it simple. That is not, let’s say, my strong suit. The last big party I hosted was for 150 people, and it took six hired helpers and more than that in friends to put together a “little taco spread” that spanned a 12-foot buffet table. It was a fun party, and the food was delicious (if I do say so myself). But it was no small task.

When I look back at that night, the moment that really sticks in my mind was the end of it, when we sat around — those friends who’d helped, a few organizers from the charity the party was benefiting and the random (but welcome) stragglers — in my kitchen, naturally, and ate quesadillas.

These weren’t fancy quesadillas, just white melted cheese sandwiched between warm, griddled, flour tortillas that we’d had delivered from a nearby taquerìa. We had a stack of 20 of them, 2 feet high, in the center of the table, each one served on a paper plate wrapped in foil that we unwrapped and tore apart, dipped in salsa or opened up to stuff with pickled jalapeño peppers that came in little Styrofoam containers along with the quesadillas. The moment was relaxed, spontaneous, inviting, and the food, the epitome of simple, was absolutely delicious.

This, for me, is the recipe for a perfect dinner party.

Determined to change my ways, I decided to create a dinner party that took place in the kitchen with those quesadillas as the main event. Chili seemed obvious as the main dish. And, in another unprecedented attempt at keeping it simple, I decided not to serve pork or beef, because not everybody eats pork or beef.

I landed on turkey, but instead of making regular chili and just substituting turkey for the beef (the idea of tomato with turkey just didn’t appeal to me), I wanted to make a turkey chili that really took into consideration the flavor of the bird. I got lost for a while down an Italian road where no chili maker wants to find herself until Carolynn showed me the way back with the bright idea to turn it into chile verde. I’d had pork chile verde but never seen turkey treated that way. It turned out to be delicious.

I always have to have a salad, no matter how pared down a menu, and I knew that a Caesar was the only thing to serve with my chili spread. First, it originated in Tijuana, so in my mind it goes with the border-inspired chili meal. What’s more, the way I make Caesar salad (and the way it was originally made), the romaine leaves are left whole, not chopped, so you can easily pick them up and eat them with your hands. Still, I make it in batches. When the bowl starts to run low, I toss together some more salad. Note: Keeping it simple does not mean lowering your standards!

That’s it. That’s the 2014 Perfect Holiday Dinner Party. Do no more. OK … if you really want to go all out, you can stop by a bakery and pick up some Mexican wedding cakes, which aren’t cakes at all but round cookies made of ground pecans or walnuts and covered in powdered sugar that goes all over your face and your dress and the floor when you bite into one. Serve them with a pile of napkins (it’ll give you a reason to buy those pretty little paper napkins they sell at Christmastime).

Invite friends, including the 5-year olds. (They’ll love the food!) Open a bottle of red wine. Get out your spoons. Add a splash of water if the chili looks dry or a can of beans if it’s looking like it might not be enough. Relax, and stir.

Turkey Chili Verde Recipe

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tomatillos, garlic, oregano, and sage and pulse to a coarse puree, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Set aside.

In a medium stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the bell peppers, chile peppers, and yellow onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the turkey, coriander, and cumin and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatillo mixture, beans, and bean cooking liquid. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until the chili is heated through, about 5 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Serve the chili hot, with the cheese (if using) and red onion sprinkled on top.

Recipe reprinted with permission from The Clean Plates Cookbook © 2012 by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

Turkey Chile Verde Recipe


  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh green tomatillos
  • 5 cloves garlic, peel ON
  • 1 jalapeno, stems and seeds removed, chopped*
  • 2 poblano chiles
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, rinsed, roughly chopped, including stems
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • Pinch sugar
  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless turkey thighs**
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of ground cloves

* You can moderate the heat of this dish with the seeds from the jalapenos. Taste the tomatillo sauce after you blend it. If it needs more heat, blend in some of the jalapeno seeds.

** If you can only get bone-in, skin-on, that's okay. Remove the skin and discard or save it to use it to make turkey bacon. Cut as much meat as you easily can away from the bone, and then cook the meaty bone with the turkey chunks. Remove the bone when the meat is cooked and shred the meat from the bone.


I'm sharing my recipe for creamy Green Chile Turkey Enchiladas with:

  • #CookBlogShare, a great food blogger recipe-share hosted this week at Easy Peasy Foodie.
  • #CookOnceEatTwice, for recipes that are just as good left-over as they are when you made them, hosted by Searching for Spice.
  • The What's For Dinner Sunday Linkup at The Lazy Gastronome. , a weekly link party where bloggers share their most delicious recipes and check out other bloggers' amazing recipes, hosted by Walking on Sunshine.

Turkey Chile Verde - Recipes

Former Foodday Test Kitchen Director Linda Faus came up with this delicious and easy approach to Thanksgiving leftovers. All it took was a jar of chile verde salsa and cans of tomatillos, mild green chiles, chicken broth and white beans. Faus heated it all (adding the turkey last), ladled it into a bowl and then topped it with a generous helping of sour cream, Monterey jack cheese and some cilantro. Brilliant!

1 16-ounce container Reser's Organic Salsa Verde, or salsa verde of your choice (see note)

1 7-ounce can diced green chiles

1 12-ounce can whole tomatillos, drained and chopped

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 14-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained

2 cups shredded cooked turkey breast

Shredded Monterey jack cheese

In a medium saucepan combine salsa verde, diced green chilies, tomatillos, chicken broth and cannellini beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the turkey and cook until heated through. Serve in bowls garnished with sour cream, jack cheese and cilantro.

Note: We bought Reser's Organic Salsa Verde in a refrigerated case at New Seasons. If you like less heat, buy a green salsa labeled mild (Old El Paso's Desert Pepper Trading Co., a jarred variety that's not refrigerated, is a good choice).

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

Turkey Chile Verde (Instant Pot) is my recipe of the day for a blogger chili cook-off.

I love this recipe since it cooks easily in the instant pot. And this uses Hatch chilies which I had tucked in the freezer, but you can use any mild canned green chile if you like.

White chili is generally any kind of chili made with poultry and no tomato. The tomatillo double in the place of that to build the flavor. Just peel off the husks on those, rinse and chop.

Finally, this uses cannellini beans but you can use any type of white bean you have on hand.

Welcome to our #ChiliCookOff!

We have delicious recipes from across the country to get your chili making to the next level of delicious!

    from Cheese Curd In Paradise from That Recipe from A Day in the Life on the Farm from Making Miracles from Sweet Beginnings from Shockingly Delicious from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
  • Turkey Chili Verde (Instant Pot) from Palatable Pastime (You are Here!) from The Spiffy Cookie

Turkey Chile Verde (Instant Pot)

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How to Make White Bean and Turkey Chili

There are only a few main steps to make this recipe, so here is the step by step on How to Make White Bean and Turkey Chili

    Add oil, ground turkey, and diced onions & bell peppers to the soup pot.

Cook, crumbling the ground turkey with a spoon until the turkey is done, about 10 minutes.

Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Quick Turkey Chili Verde

This can be made with chicken as well, though it's perfect for a post-Thanksgiving way to use up leftover turkey. This is a rough approximation of my recipe, since I usually make it with whatever I have around the kitchen and never really measure too much. Some of the techniques used here are adapted from a similar recipe from Cook's Illustrated.

Ingredients You'll Need

3 lbs (approx 5 cups) roast turkey breast, shredded or chopped
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 3 medium jalapeno chiles
• 3 medium poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and cut into large pieces
• 3 medium Anaheim chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut into large pieces
• 2 medium onions, cut into large pieces
• 6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
• 1 tbsp ground cumin
• 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
• 2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
• 3 cups chicken broth
• 3 tbsp lime juice
• 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
• 4 scallions, white and light green parts sliced thin


Remove and discard ribs and seeds from 2 jalapenos mince the flesh. In food processor, process half of poblano chiles, Anaheim chiles, and onions until consistency of chunky salsa, about 10 to 12 1-second pulses, scraping down the sides of the workbowl halfway through. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Repeat with remaining poblano chiles, Anaheim chiles and onions combine with first batch (do not wash food processor blade or workbowl).

2. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add minced jalapenos, chile-onion mixture, garlic, cumin, coriander and 1/4 tsp salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat.

3. Transfer 1 cup cooked vegetable mixture to now-empty food processor workbowl. Add 1 cup beans and 1 cup broth and process until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add vegetable-bean mixture and remaining 2 cups broth to Dutch oven and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Once at a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes.

4. Remove cover, stir in remaining beans and shredded turkey and continue to simmer until beans are heated through and chili begins to thicken about 10 minutes.

5. Mince remaining jalapeno, reserving and mincing ribs and seeds (depending on your heat preference). Just before serving, stir in remaining minced jalapeno, lime juice, cilantro, and scallions. Let heat through briefly, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, and serve.

The processing-cooking-reprocessing technique is a way to get this stew nice and thick in a short period of time. Otherwise you'd have to go through a couple of hours of slow simmering.

I'd suggest using white meat dark meat is fattier, and usually makes the chili greasy. Be sure not to add the turkey until the last ten minutes or so - since it's already cooked, you don't want to put it into the stew too early, or you risk drying the meat out and having it turn tough. Ten minutes or so in a low simmer will be enough to heat the turkey through and let it absorb some of the seasoning, so it'll blend with the rest of the flavors

Questions, Comments & Reviews

Is this your picture? I saw the same picture here, are they both yours? Carm

Thank you demartino for a savory and perfectly seasoned new way to eat turkey, one of my favorite foods. I enjoyed it with some cheddar cheese cornbread, and it was, dare I say it? Deedeelish!

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