Beans, Turkey

Jerk Turkey Chili


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When I found this recipe for jerked chicken at Smells Like Home I knew I wanted to try it out with the turkey breasts I had leftover from Thanksgiving.  I wasn’t even sure what jerked meat was, but it sounded too good not to try and I couldn’t pass up having access to another chili recipe.  Not only did it cook up quick, but the ingredients were inexpensive and easy to find.  Except one.  Pickled Jalapenos.  Seriously?  I’ve never heard of them and I didn’t see them in the grocery store so I improvised and bought a single, lonely, jalapeno which worked out great in the recipe.  I only used half which, turned out to have enough flavor of the spiciness, but no actual heat on the tongue.  Add the entire thing if you like it hot, like me, minus the kids!

As a side note, the original recipe called for a rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded (about six cups worth).  As fabulous as that must be, saying Jerk Turkey is just kind of fun.

Ok, as much as I dislike rambling on and on before I get to the actual recipe I felt very strongly that I had to tell you a secret that I kept from the kids.  I put the onion, bell pepper, and diced tomatoes in the food processor before cooking.  Why?  Because they like to think they don’t like these things when they’ve been cooked and I get tired of the “what’s this?” face.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 large turkey breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes (I bought the no salt added)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, un-drained (reduced sodium please)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) great northern white beans, undrained
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoon cornmeal or 3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water (optional for thickening)


1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.

2. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Add chili powder, thyme, cinnamon, and allspice. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

4. Add chicken and stir to coat with spices. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, and jalapenos, bring to a boil, cover partially, reduce heat, and simmer to blend flavors, about 20 minutes.

5. Stir in garlic, cilantro, chocolate, and either cornmeal or cornstarch/water slurry if desired.  If you add the cornstarch slurry, bring the heat up to medium-high and allow the chili to thicken.  Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.


1 thought on “Jerk Turkey Chili”

  1. Hello Shanna, I'm interested in posting this post, 'Jerk Turkey Chili'. Please email me at toddtshipley (AT) gmail (DOT) com . Thank you, Todd


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