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Hatch Chile Verde with Turkey

By Cheryl Forberg
Image of Hatch Chile Verde with Turkey
Many of us are busy planning our Thanksgiving recipes and menus. Some of us use the same tried and true recipes each year, so we are ready to start shopping, at least for the non-perishable ingredients we will use.

In terms of turkey, here are some fun facts:

Turkey Talk
Incubation period to hatch a turkey egg is twenty-eight days.
Baby turkey is called a poult.
Male turkey is called a tom.
Female turkey is called a hen.
Most common breed of turkey we eat today is the Broad Breasted White.
Hens typically take 14 weeks to reach maturity and weigh fifteen pounds.
Toms typically take 18 weeks to reach maturity and weigh thirty-eight pounds.

Turkey Safety
Federal agencies monitor the safety of poultry from before turkeys hatch until they reach your table.
All turkey is free from antibiotic residue before it goes to market.
The Federal Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) of the USDA monitors the administration of antibiotics and randomly tests flocks of turkeys for residues.

Turkey Nutrients
Protein-packed and rich in vitamins and minerals.
Rich in B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine) and B12 (cobalamin) vitamins.
Contains abundance of cancer-fighting antioxidant selenium.
Good source of iron to keep you healthy.
Fortifies immune system with zinc content.
Provides hearty dose of phosphorus for strong bones and teeth.

Turkey Was the First Meal on the Moon
When Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin sat down for their first meal on the moon, their foil food packets contained roasted turkey and all the trimmings.

About 46 million turkeys are eaten around Thanksgiving nationally.

Turkey Feather Down
Turkey feather down is sometimes used to make pillows.

Only tom turkeys gobble. Hen turkeys make a clicking sound.

Turkey eggs are tan with brown specks and are larger than chicken eggs.

Turkey Terms
The “caruncle” on a turkey is the red-pink fleshy growth on the head and upper neck.
The “snood” is a long, red, fleshy growth from the base of the beak that hangs down over the beard.
The “wattle” is the bright red appendage at the neck.
The “beard” is a black lock of hair found on the chest of a male turkey.

Every year in November, I tend to write a blog, or an article and/or a recipe related to Thanksgiving, and typically I write about Thanksgiving side dishes, desserts, cranberry sauce, stuffing, or dressing. But this year, I thought about how limited my repertoire has been in terms of how I use my turkey leftovers. There is nothing like a reheated plate of tasty leftover turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Turkey sandwiches are great, and I love a good pot pie. This year I thought I would step outside the box and create a recipe focusing on the leftover roast turkey, which could be prepared in the days following Thanksgiving, or weeks or months later, using frozen roasted turkey.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we have. And if you do, you can also substitute shredded roast chicken, beef, or pork in this recipe when the turkey is gone.

Happy Holiday!

Hatch Chile Verde with Roast Turkey
Makes about two quarts
While this recipe was created as an inventive way to use leftover holiday turkey, you can also substitute cooked and shredded (or chopped) chicken, beef, or pork.

Image of Ingredients
For the Salsa Verde:
1 pound Melissa’s tomatillos, husks removed
1 pound Melissa’s Hatch chilies, hot or mild
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic
¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
1 ½ teaspoons salt

For the Chili:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup beer (or broth)
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons Melissa’s Mexican oregano
1 ½ teaspoons ground mustard
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Salsa Verde (recipe above)
1 – 2 cups turkey or chicken stock
2 pounds chopped or shredded roast turkey
Lime wedges and additional cilantro for topping.

For the Salsa Verde:
Preheat grill or broiler.
Image of roasted tomatillos
Grill or broil tomatillos and peppers until the skin sides are blistering and blackened, approximately 10 minutes.

Allow tomatillos and peppers to cool enough to handle. Remove the skins from tomatillos and peppers (and seeds from peppers).
Image of ingredients in food processor
In the bowl of a food processor, add the roasted tomatillos, roasted peppers, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and salt. Process until smooth. There will be about two cups. Set aside.

For the Chili:
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the oil.
Image of cooking onions
Add the onions and cook until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the cup of beer and cook until nearly dry.

Add the spices, stirring, and cook for about a minute or until fragrant.
Image of mixing salsa verde with onions in a sauté pan
Add the salsa verde and 1 cup of the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and stir in the roast turkey meat.
Image of mixing with turkey mix
Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Add additional stock for a thinner stew.
Image of served hatch chile verde with turkey
Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
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