By Josh Boyd
With many turkey seasons across the nation already in full swing, and several others poised to begin in the coming weeks, turkey will inevitably be on the menu in many households in the near future. Those who find success in the spring turkey woods will ultimately be afforded the opportunity to feed their family with their harvest.
While many hunters already have a preconceived notion as to how their turkey will be prepared, others will dig deep into recipe books in an attempt to find something new and exciting to cook. If you find yourself to be among the latter, white bean wild turkey chili might be just what you are looking for.
This is a dish that is not only abundant in taste, but is perfect to warm the bones of those returning from an early-season turkey hunt when morning temperatures can still be quite chilly. In fact, you might find that this hearty culinary creation becomes one of your yearly go-to dishes.
Gather Your Supplies
Before actual cooking can begin, you will need to gather all supplies that will be needed. Outside of basic kitchen utensils, much of what must be prepared will center around procuring all of your ingredients.
* 1 ½- 2 lbs. turkey breast
* 1 medium onion, diced
* 1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
* 3-4 tbsp. oil
* 1 can of Great Northern beans (undrained)
* 1 can of pinto beans (undrained)
* 2- 4 oz. cans of green chiles
* 1 tsp. salt
* 1 tsp. cumin
* ½ tsp. black pepper
* ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
* 2- 14 oz. cans of chicken broth
* 8 oz. cream cheese
Prepare Turkey Breast
You will begin by cutting your turkey breast to size. First, place the entire turkey breast onto a cutting board or similar work surface. The turkey breast will now be cut into ½-inch cubes, while retaining the breast’s thickness throughout.
Next, place the cubed turkey into a stockpot of the appropriate size. Add your diced onion, garlic powder, and cooking oil into this pot. Sauté the onion and turkey contained within the pot, until the turkey is thoroughly cooked. After cooking is complete, drain any excess oil from the pot.
Place Additional Ingredients in Pot
Once your turkey has been adequately cooked, and all excess oil has been drained, you will be ready to place all of the additional, unused ingredients into the mixture. Begin by adding both your pinto and Great Northern beans. When doing so, ensure that these beans are not drained before their introduction.
At this point, your green chiles, salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper will be added to the mixture. Stir all ingredients contained within the pot thoroughly to ensure that all are blended together evenly. You will now add your chicken broth to the mixture, once again stirring the contents of the pot.
With all ingredients, except for the cream cheese, placed within the pot, bring your mixture to a boil. After the chili has reached a boil, reduce the stovetop burner’s heat and allow the pot’s contents to return to a simmer. You will continue to allow this mixture to simmer for a total of 15-20 minutes.
Upon the completion of simmering, you will introduce your cream cheese to the chili mix. This is best accomplished by cutting the cream cheese into cubes, as this allows it to melt at a much quicker rate. Continue simmering your chili until all cubes of cream cheese have melted entirely. At this point, your dish will be ready for consumption upon being allowed to slightly cool.
To bring your white bean wild turkey chili to the next level, toppings can be added as desired. I have found that the addition of sour cream, green onions, and shredded cheese seems to be the perfect way to put an exclamation mark on this dish.
A Meal That Can Feed the Masses
One of the most wonderful elements of this dish is that it can be scaled to whatever size that you desire, assuming that enough turkey breast is available. By simply adjusting your ingredient quantities and amounts to mirror the batch size, you can feed everyone at camp, or prepare a special dish for the next community wild game dinner.
With a taste so rich that it is sure to make your mouth water, and a level of versatility that allows each individual to top their personal serving in any way that they see fit, white bean wild turkey chili is sure to satisfy everyone at the table. One side benefit of this recipe is that there is little likelihood of having leftovers to contend with, as this dish always seems to pull a disappearing act within minutes of hitting the table.