Kitchen Bitch

Cooking in the Kitchen with Sass & Class

Leftovers with a Twist: Pumpkin-Turkey Chili with Sweet Cornbread December 1, 2010


Pumpkin-Turkey Chili with Sweet Cornbread with Creamed Corn

You open your fridge. Rolls your eyes. There’s STILL f—ing turkey there, just winking at you from inside its Ziploc bag. You slam the door, and walk over to the pantry.

You slide open the door, and what’s looking back at you? A lonely can of pumpkin puree that somehow never made it into your fabulous pumpkin pie. Well, sh*t. What else can a person do with leftover turkey and a lone can of pumpkin puree? Think. Think. Think. Think. Thinkthinkthinkthinkthink …

CHILI! Pumpkin, in chili? Yup, you better believe it. And I have to tell you that this might be my favorite chili recipe of all the ones I’ve ever made—for serious! If you’re worried about the flavor of pumpkin in your chili, never fear: The pumpkin really just gives this chili that je ne sais quoi, a subtle sweet undertone that complements the heat of the chiles and makes you say mmmmmmmm.

And, if you’re going to make chili, you might as well make cornbread. Especially if you’re going to make this Sweet Cornbread with Creamed Corn. I’m officially declaring it my new favorite cornbread recipe. (I know, lots of things are my favorite today, but that’s just how it goes. Good things come in pairs!) It’s super corny and moist and sweet—my top three attributes when it comes to a cornbread.

Alright, I do have a confession to make: When I was in elementary school, I used to tell the lunch ladies I was ALLERGIC to cornbread so I wouldn’t have to eat it. Man, was I missing out! While I’m sure the cornbread provided by my little public school wasn’t gourmet, I bet it was decent enough for a 10 year old to eat.

As you can see, I’ve learned a thing or two about cornbread over the past 17 years. Thank god, because no one should live without a good cornbread recipe. If you serve this Sweet Cornbread with the Pumpkin-Turkey chili, I promise even the adults will be giddy like kids again. Doug even held up his empty chili bowl to show me that he loved the meal so much he had practically licked the bowl clean. I bet your guests do the same thing.

Oh yeah, I think this Pumpkin-Turkey chili will make a mean chili-cheese burrito the next day. At least, that’s what I’m planning on doing with my leftovers today.

Pumpkin-Turkey Chili
If you don’t have leftover turkey, use a rotisserie chicken or ground turkey. Brown the ground turkey with the vegetables while they sauté. Serves 6-8. Of course, you can always freeze the leftovers for another day. For less heat, stem and seed the jalapeno. Click here to download a copy of this recipe.

2 Tbs. oil
2 medium onions, diced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1 large jalapeno, minced with seeds
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbs. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed
2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 (10 oz.) can tomato puree
2-3 c. shredded cooked turkey or chicken
2 c. water
1.5 c. frozen corn
Shredded cheddar, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish
Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Make chili base. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add veggies and sauté until tender. Sprinkle chili powder and cumin over veggies. Sauté for 1 minute more. Add rinsed black beans, pumpkin puree, diced tomatoes, tomato puree, chicken and water, and stir to combine. Season chili with salt and pepper.

Add spices to softened veggies and saute for 1 minute more

Add canned goods and water

Simmer and serve. Bring the chili to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer the chili for 15 minutes, then add the frozen corn. Simmer for 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.

Add corn and simmer 10 minutes more

The finished chili, ungarnished

Pumpkin-Turkey Chili garnished with cheddar, sour cream, and cilantro

Sweet Cornbread with Creamed Corn
This is my new favorite cornbread recipe. It’s adapted from Virginia Hanker. It’s sweet, moist and chock full of corn. Click here to download a copy of this recipe.

1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. cornmeal
½ c. sugar
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ c. sour cream
1/3 c. milk
1 (15 oz.) can creamed corn
¼ c. butter, melted

Make batter. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Combine the egg, sour cream, milk, creamed corn and butter; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

The Cornbread Batter

Bake and eat! Pour into a greased 8-in. square baking dish. Bake at 400˚F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Sweet Cornbread with Creamed Corn

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8 Responses to “Leftovers with a Twist: Pumpkin-Turkey Chili with Sweet Cornbread”

  1. Beth Says:

    What a creative way to use Thanksgiving leftovers! I love leftovers even more than the holiday itself I think, but this year I had NONE because we went to my sisters. So sad!

  2. Thanks! I took a bunch of the turkey from my parents house so I could eat it this week in fun recipes! Happy holidays girl!

  3. Kelly Says:

    We made the cornbread tonight and it was SOOOOO good, it took my oven an extra 20 minutes to cook it, though…it was excruciating waiting, it smelled so good 🙂

  4. Meg Says:

    KB, you are single-handedly responsible for making my boyfriend think I can cook. Licked his bowl clean…twice…and then took leftovers for lunch the next day. I am pulling off the biggest scam in America, thanks to your delish recipes. Keep ’em coming or he’ll get wise to my charade… Now, on to the brisket!

    (PS. I work with Lee Syrjanen, so you have him to thank for your new devotee.)

    • Thanks so much, Meg! I’ll definitely thank Lee for spreading the word. I’m glad I can help you pull the veil over your boyfriend’s eyes—as far as he knows you’re the best cook in America!

  5. Kelly Says:

    I keep making this…Soooooo yummy….

  6. […] One Year Ago: Leftovers with a Twist: Pumpkin-Turkey Chili with Sweet Cornbread […]

  7. […] I really wanted to come up with a new version to try and beat my all-time favorite chili recipe, my Pumpkin-Turkey Chili—and I think I might have done […]


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