Turkey: It’s Not Just For Christmas.

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Turkey is almost strictly for eating at Christmas in Ireland. When you get out of Dublin, you may find “Turkey and Ham” on a menu in a country pub for a Sunday dinner. Often this looks like a slice of turkey breast, some stuffing, and a slice of ham. Basically, Christmas dinner.

Turkey is hard to find on menus of the best restaurants around Dublin. Not that I would know, exactly. It’s not like I go looking for turkey. It’s a boring meat. “I really hope they have a nice turkey breast on the menu,” said no one ever who was about to spend over forty euro on a dinner.

Well, here’s a way to make turkey super exciting. Super. Exciting. Turkey Chili!

Turkey is really good for you. It’s 2015, so we all know that white meat is better more often then red meat. Turkey’s not as over farmed as those poor chickens, so you are more likely to get a bird that was not pumped with stupid steroids. It is a great source of protein and it is low in calories. I am writing those things because I imagine they mean something to some of you, my beautiful readers. I am, like, whatever. It makes good chili.

Your first challenge will be to find turkey mince. I usually find mine at Lidl. If you find it, buy a few packs because it freezes well, and it’s not always even in Lidl.

You are now going to have to go to another shop to get beans. Lidl loves to stock kidney beans. Get a can or two at Lidl, but I like to mix my beans up and Lidl seems not to believe bean diversity.

Hopefully, when you find your diverse bean selection, you will also find a ripe avocado. May the force be with you.

Back in your kitchen with your favorite tunes playing, it’s like any other chili and you make it in exactly the same way:

2 Onions chopped

5-8 cloves of garlic (turkey can take a LOT of flavor because it has very little of it’s own.)

Cumin

Bay Leaf (or 2 or 3)

Smoked Paprika

Chili Powder

Cayenne

Salt

Pepper

Turkey Mince

2 cans of chopped tomatoes

2 cans of Bean of Your Choice, BOYC, drained, rinsed or soaked over night if you are that kind of overachiever.

If you feel like grating in some carrot, or adding peppers of some description, go nuts. Be your own chili king/queen.

I sauté the onions in a glug of olive oil until they look soft and tasty. Then I add the garlic and the turkey and the spices. I brown the meat, and then add the tomatoes (and any other veg at this stage). After I let that bubble around a few minutes I add the beans, stir and taste. I adjust spices as needed. The longer you let it cook over low heat, the better it will be.

As you’ll notice I don’t have exact amounts for the spices. That will drive some of you nuts. I don’t intend to drive anyone nuts, I just wing it when I cook. It’s about a teaspoon (a bit more a bit less) of each. A little more cumin, a little less cayene. Improvise! Taste as you go! Create your own magic! If that freaks you out (and I know plenty of people for whom improvising in the kitchen is a no go), just follow the spice requirements for a regular beef chili.

Chili is often served with rice, but C and I have gotten used to serving this chili with roasted sweet potato cubes. Half way through their roasting process, I toss them in melted coconut oil and a spice rub C made (it has many of the spices in the chili but includes thyme, rosemary and celery salt). These tasty delights add a richness and texture that I enjoy. But if you are a rice and chili fan, do it your way. You could also keep it super simple for yourself and just add extra beans to the pot so you don’t need any other carb or filler or whatever you want to call it.

I think smashed avocado (or guacamole if I’m feeling fancy) is necessary. It lightens everything up, it adds some green for aesthetic purposes, good oils and fats, and saves you having to add sour cream or yogurt as a topper. Not that you can’t! Do what makes you happy!

If you are an ambivalent Christmas turkey eater, this could take turkey to the top of your Weekly Protein Choice list. We all have that list, right?

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Turkey: It’s Not Just For Christmas.

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