Spring? It’s Time For Turkeys, and Turkey Chili!

Turkey season has arrived!

If you’re a deer hunter who doesn’t hunt turkeys, just consider this: to turkey hunters, it’s as big of a day as the opening day of deer season. No, really. It is. The geeked-out jitters and excitement deer hunters get for heading out on opening morning is the same for turkey hunters, and I’d argue for waterfowl hunters, too. Opening day is special.

By Alan Clemons, Southern Managing Editor

turkey chiliConsider, too, that some states have short turkey seasons, maybe only three or four weeks and possibly with half-day hunting times since it’s breeding season. Turkey hunters make the most of it when the season rolls around.

In a similar vein to waterfowl hunters, by the end of turkey season you may notice some guys who are worn out. Bags under their eyes. Forgetful. Weeds in the yard. Garden planting on hold until the last minute. Wives wondering why sweaty camo is hanging in the garage. Stinky boots. Maybe some feet and beards lying on the work bench to be prepped for display.

Learn More About Calling Turkeys! CLICK HERE

Deer hunter is interactive when you can figure out travel routes and, if you’re a bowhunter, get a buck or doe within range. Turkey hunting is no different. Despite today’s premium shotgun loads and chokes, turkey hunters get a thrill out of interacting with a wily gobbler at close range. You’re trying to reverse nature and act like a hen calling a gobbler to you, whereas gobblers sound off in the mornings or during the day to let hens know it’s time to gather ’round for some morning loving. Or afternoon loving, depending on the hen, of course.

Dining on wild turkey is a bonus. Gobblers that have fattened up on acorns, grubs, tender springtime growth, grasshoppers and whatever else they enjoy all combine for a tasty breast. Too many hunters discard the wings and legs, which is unfortunate because they can be used for creating stocks and soups.

Stacy Harris, author of Happy Healthy Family, offers this great turkey chili recipe. She and her family enjoy the spring bounty of Alabama’s generous five-bird limit during the state’s six-week season. They usually bag a few gobblers and then have great meals. Here’s what Harris has to say about this turkey chili recipe:

I do not know anyone who does not love chili. This is one of our family’s favorite turkey recipes. There are so many different variations to this dish and it is always a winner no matter which variation you choose. We love to add corn, avocados, rice, or chips to this dish. Our favorite is just to add the jalapenos, a little cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Wild Turkey Chili
Serves 6

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 lbs. wild ground turkey
11/2 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can light kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 quart tomatoes, chopped or 2 15 oz. cans of chopped tomatoes
1 quart homemade chicken stock or canned broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons chili powder
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
2 jalapenos
2 cups shredded cheese
Sour cream

1. In large stockpot heat olive oil. Cook turkey, onions, and peppers over medium-high heat stirring often until the turkey is browned and fully cooked.
2. Add beans, tomatoes with their juices, chicken stock, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and juice of 1 lemon to the stockpot with the turkey mixture. Mix well.

Simmer for 1 hour. Add liquid if it seems too dry. Serve with sliced jalapenos, cheese, and sour cream.

For the Homemade Chicken Stock recipe visit www.gameandgarden.com


Sustainable CookbookWant more great recipes?

Stacy Harris wrote “Happy Healthy Family” to showcase the nutritious, delicious recipes for wild game and vegetables, many of which she and her family grow themselves each year. From figs and peppers to corn and tomatoes rolling in from their garden, you’ll find great and easy recipes along with some of Stacy’s insights and thoughts! This makes a great gift — Mother’s Day is coming up soon, guys! — and addition to your own kitchen. Order “Happy Healthy Family” now! CLICK HERE