While this is an invention from our own kitchen, the concept of a green chili isn’t a new one by any means. Meat in a green sauce is a pretty common concept in authentic Mexican cuisine, an making every possible version of chili is the official pastime of large parts of the United States (mostly the “Texas” parts). We’ve had a similar meal to this made for us by friends, and simply made the leap to throwing it all in a pot together. To be honest, it’s mostly just another way for Rachel and I to enjoy one of our favorite foods: salsa verde.
Why is this chili so good? It’s both comforting and surprising at the same time. It has all the warmth and thickness and stewy richness of traditional chilis, with a novelty and lightheartedness of flavor brought by the character of the salsa. The bright cilantro overtones and roasty tartness of the tomatillo that are so distinct in the raw salsa are mellowed to an earthy, herbal flavor that does a great job bringing the meat and beans together. In short, it’s a winner: both a new experience and an instant comfort food at the same time. You better try it.
This recipe uses pre-cooked turkey (great use for leftovers), but pork works equally well, as does chicken if that’s your only choice. The meat doesn’t need to be cooked ahead of time. The salsa can be made right before cooking as well, but having it already made and/or frozen will obviously save you a few minutes.
The long cooking time is to give the meat time to break down and get tender; this is especially important if you go with pork instead of the turkey. You could probably make a really good vegetarian version if you switched the meat for another kind of bean or potatoes. As always, please experiment and let me know what you come up with.
Green Turkey Chili Recipe
1 1/2 lbs cooked turkey, cubed (uncooked works fine as well)
1 large onion, diced
5 cups salsa verde (about 2 recipes)
3 cups stock
4 cups/2 cans cooked white beans (navy, cannellini, great northern, etc)
tortillas for garnish
Heat a large dutch oven to medium-ridiculous heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and sautee the onion for several minutes. Add the meat and sear, giving each side the chance to get some color before moving or stirring the pieces.
Take 1 cup of the beans and some of the stock and blend until smooth. Stir into the pot, it’ll help thicken the chili.
Add the salsa and the rest of the stock, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and continue simmering for about 2 hours or until meat is tender. Bonus points if your stock comes from the same turkey who provided the meat for this meal.
Meanwhile, heat a pan with vegetable oil for deep frying. Slice the tortillas into thin strips.
Fry the strips in batches, until crispy and golden. Drain and set aside.
Add the rest of the beans and heat through for a few minutes. Serve with the fried tortilla strips as a garnish.
Enjoy, I hope you like it! Make sure you sign up for the emails if you haven’t yet.
Till next time, foodies!