Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Turkey Leftovers - Black & White Chili

I know what you're thinking.

You're supposed to wait until AFTER Thanksgiving before you start making leftover turkey dishes. But the weather is turning cold and wet for the next few days and some comfort food was in order. This is one of our favorites from way back when I was just learning to cook for my new family some 15 years ago.

This isn't like most "black and white chili" recipes because 1) it does not include any white beans, the "white" is just the chicken or turkey and 2) it uses a secret ingredient.

The secret ingredient? Country or "sawmill" gravy mix, specifically Pioneer Brand. Yeah, a prepared powdered mix. I have tried just using a roux but it just isn't the same. You can get it online but we just buy ours at the local grocery stores.

Leftover Turkey Black and White Chili
Original source lost but if you google "black and white chili country gravy mix" you will find many posts of the same recipe on many sites. Just don't know who gets original credit. This is my adaptation. Plus I am trying to win an award for the longest recipe source citation ever!

2 cups onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
32 ounces chicken stock
12 oz light beer (substitute water if you like)
2.75 ounce package Pioneer Brand country gravy mix
1 ea poblano pepper, fire roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tsp cumin
3 cups turkey, smoked and chopped
2 cans Bush Brother's Seasoned Black Beans
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

To start off, I didn't have leftover turkey so I made some. I seasoned two wings with the poultry rub and smoked them with apple wood for 3 1/2 hours at 250F until they hit an internal temp of 180f. Actually I did that part last night. Yes, I cooked "leftovers" last night on purpose.

This yielded right at 3 cups, which is what this recipe calls for.

Fire up your grill to 300f (med-high) and place a cast iron dutch oven over direct heat. Let it preheat for 10 minutes. Add the 1/2 of the butter and saute the onion and celery until tender, about 5-8 minutes.

Make a "well" in the middle of the pot by pushing the veggies to the side. Add the remaining butter, the flour and stir for a few minutes to make a light roux.

Add the chicken stock, chilies, and cumin. Whisk the beer and gravy mix together then add in to the dutch oven. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the already cooked turkey, beans, and cilantro. Cook for 5 more minutes.

Top with cilantro, sour cream or whatever you want.

So when cold, wet weather is hitting your area, what is your favorite comfort food?


  1. Hi Chris,

    That looks sooo yum...:)


  2. I love white chili's, I actually prefer them over red, so this is going on my list. I'll probably skip the whole grilling part, since the low forcasted for this weekend is 28!!! Wha happened to fall?!

  3. I think "sawmill gravy" needs a new name.

  4. I usually prefer the red chili over white...but this might make me change my mind! It looks fantastic, Chris!
    My favorite comfort food....mac & cheese! I can't help myself, I love the cheese pasta goodness!!

  5. The home cook who learns to creatively use leftovers is a smart home cook. Frankly I like Thanksgiving leftovers maybe even more than the big-day-dinner itself.

  6. This sounds great for our rainy day here. I think our supermarket has the Pioneer brand. I'll have to give it a try.

  7. I've never met something topped with cilantro & sour cream that I did not like. ~Mary

  8. I love your pictures Chris, and your little soup crock! I've had a cold this week so anything soupy looks really wonderful.

  9. Love these pictures, Chris! The chili ingredients are so unlike any I've ever used so I'm dying to try it. There are so many comfort foods for me in the winter. I'm a fiend for a great roast chicken, a delicious pot of stew or chili and of course, a slow cooked pot roast. Then there's shepherd's pie, chicken noodle soup, . . . man I love to eat in the winter.

  10. I really like the ingredients in this and can see it becoming my new favorite white chili recipe - great shots as usual.

  11. I'm not gonna lie, my favorite part of Thanksgiving IS the leftovers so I say bring em on!

    I'm going to have to see if my grocery store has that brand of gravy mix...although they barely have Cheerios in stock so we'll see... Looks delicious. Nothing like a good chili to stick to your ribs.

  12. You're suppose to wait until AFTER Thanksgiving to start making turkey leftovers! :-) This looks really good Chris. I don't think I can find that brand of gravy here, and do believe I'll do something crazy and order it. Your photo is really nice, that bread looks so good.

  13. I love turkey leftover dishes. My favorite is gumbo.

    Your blog is beautiful : )

  14. Chili is definitely a cold weather favorite, although any pasta dish is a close second. I'm liking that you add beer to this chili. I've been hearing a lot about that lately and have yet to try it.

  15. Yummy. I'm going to try this one.

  16. Being Southern, you can bet I'll make a sour cream cornbread to go with this (which happens to be my favorite comfort food)


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