December Recipes: Boxing Day Turkey Chili


December Recipes: Boxing Day Turkey Chili

by Kate James

Every Christmas my partner brines and smokes a whole turkey, and every Boxing Day I dismantle what’s left of it, freeze most of the meat, and make stock (in the pressure cooker, I don’t have all day for this!) from the bones. And I always put aside four cups of chopped meat for this chili, which I stole from and adjusted to make it super easy (and Australian-produce-friendly). The original recipe says this will feed eight to 10 but I gotta tell you it’s more like four in my house.

Note: when I make this it always has a slightly smoky flavour because the turkey has been smoked, and this is a very good thing; if you want to reproduce this, maybe throw in a teaspoon or so of smoky paprika or a glug of a smoky bbq sauce. Chili-making should never be reduced to an exact science!


  • 2 fresh red chillies (super-hot little birds-eyes or a less searing chilli? your choice)
  • 2/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 2/3 cup chopped red capsicum
  • 1 leek (white part only)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup corn flour
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken stock (I use my fresh turkey stock)
  • 2 x 440g can beans (I like black beans, but kidney or borlotti would be fine – mix’n’match for variety if you like!), drained
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 4 cups diced cooked turkey


Seed and chop the chillies, chop the garlic, onion, celery, capsicum and leek.

Melt butter in pot: add chillies, onion, celery, capsicum, leek, garlic and oregano. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

Add the flour and spices, cook 5 minutes.

Add the sugar and stock and bring to simmer.

Mix beans, turkey and corn, and add to the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes. You’re done!

If you’ve managed not to just wolf it down straight away, garnish with grated cheese, red onion, sour cream and fresh coriander.


Kate James will be taking on the role of Managing Editor at Escape Publishing, while Kate Cuthbert is on parental leave.

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