Roasted Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili

P1070078 For the last two months my family and I have had more sick days than well days. We definitely have some winter blues around here. The one thing that helps me get through being sick is cooking. Actually cooking helps me get through most things. And then eating and baking and cooking some more. Throw in the other household chores and some grocery shopping and you’ll have a good idea of what life has been like for me. Luckily I have some awesome friends and neighbors who I can feed and who feed us in return. Those are great days. I love my little hood.

Today looks like it is going to top out around 19 degrees. That is so very cold for us here in Virginia. NOT complaining, I have a lot of family and friends in much cooler weather. But it does make you want to eat super hearty food like this roasted turkey, sweet potato and black bean chili. I originally made a vegetarian version of this for Richmond Family Magazine which is the same sans the roasted turkey. Even my 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 year olds eat it with sour cream and white cheddar chunks. Which made me realize when I took the photos for this I forgot to top the chili. Lessons in food styling, whoops. P1070001 So these are turkey thighs. They are dark meat, which has tons of flavor and are much less expensive cuts of turkey. They are becoming more popular in the regular stores. If you can’t find them use drumsticks or even skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs to keep it reasonable. I paid about $5 for these. I have using them so much I started saving the bones to make a turkey broth soon. P1070051 After the turkey has roasted, try try try not to nibble on the crispy skins. OK go ahead. We do. But it is tough to keep the boys out of the shredded meat. I use my clean hands to shred the meat. People often say to use two forks which works well too. If you have an issue with touching the meat, wear disposable kitchen gloves. P1070055 Another plus for this recipe is there is not a ton of chopping. Just the sweet potato and onions. Make a big batch this weekend and enjoy it for a few meals.

Roasted Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6-8
  • To Roast the Turkey
  • 2 turkey thighs (1¼ lbs)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons grapeseed oil or olive oil
  • For the Chili
  • 2 tablespoons of grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced ½ inch
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, diced ½ inch
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup or brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  1. To roast the turkey thighs: Preheat oven to 350*. In a small bowl mix salt, chili powder, and cumin. Remove from packaging and pat dry with paper towels. Place thighs on a baking sheet and gently separate the skin from the meat and run well with salt mixture. Sprinkle any remaining salt on top of skins and on the underside. Drizzle with oil. Bake for one hour. Remove and let cool for about 15 minutes. Shred meat using hands or two forks. Discard bones and skins.
  2. Chili: Heat oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and sweet potatoes, sauté until they are beginning to brown and soften, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt. Next add garlic and stir for one additional minute. In a small bowl mix chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, coriander and 1 teaspoon of salt. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the sweet potatoes and allow to toast over the vegetables for 1 minute. Slowly pour in stock, scraping up the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Add shredded turkey, diced tomatoes, black beans, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and cover. Allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes until the sweet potatoes are cooked through and the chili has thickened. Serve with chili fixins.




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