© David Loftus
turkey con chilli
Try to think of this recipe as a principle, rather than something you have to follow really strictly. I want you to embrace your own leftovers so adjust the recipe accordingly. If you need to swap out some of the vegetables that’s fine, and different tinned or jarred beans will all work well too. I’ve given you a weight of turkey here, but you can use whatever you’ve got left over. It’s all about building up layers of flavour with the sweet vegetable base then turning whatever you add to it into a beautiful meal with great spice and attitude. It’s brilliant with steamed rice, or rolled up in warmed tortillas.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Heat a few lugs of olive oil in a large casserole-type pan on a medium heat. Add the onions, carrot, leek, peppers and chillies, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the coriander stalks, cumin and paprika, and cook for another 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently until soft and delicious. Sometimes I like to add some honey and white wine vinegar at this point and let it cook for a couple of minutes. I find this adds a wonderful sheen and enhances the natural sweetness of the vegetables.
While that’s happening, shred the turkey meat off your carcass and roughly chop it. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper to the pan of vegetables, then add the turkey and take the pan off the heat. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas or butter beans and stir everything together. Pop it in the hot oven to blip away for 2 hours. Check on it after an hour, and add a splash of water if it looks a bit dry.
While that’s cooking, make your guacamole by blitzing one of your avocados in a food processor with the tomatoes, onion, garlic, chilli and coriander. Use a fork to mash the other avocado in a bowl so it’s nice and chunky. Taste the mixture in the food processor and add salt and squeezes of lime juice until the taste is just right for you. Whiz up one more time then tip into the bowl with your chunky avocado and mix together.
Take the chilli out of the oven and scrape all the gnarly bits from the edge of the pan back into the chilli for added flavour. Squeeze in some lime juice, and stir through most of the coriander leaves. Have a taste to check the seasoning then serve with steamed basmati rice or tortillas, and a good dollop of sour cream and guacamole on top. Scatter over your remaining coriander leaves and some finely sliced fresh chilli if you fancy then get everyone to tuck in.
serves: 4 - 6
• olive oil
• 2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
• 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
• 1 leek, trimmed and roughly chopped
• 1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
• 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
• 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
• 1 fresh green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
• a bunch of fresh coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves picked
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
• optional: 1 heaped teaspoon runny honey
• optional: 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
• 600g leftover turkey, shredded
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 3 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
• 1 x 400g tin butter beans or chickpeas, drained
• juice of 2 limes
soured cream, to serve
for the guacamole
• 2 ripe avocados, peeled and destoned
• 2 tomatoes, halved
• ¼ of a red onion, peeled
• ½ a garlic clove, peeled
• 1 fresh green chilli, deseeded
• a bunch of fresh coriander
• juice of 1 lime