No-Bean Smoked Turkey Chili with Salsa Verde

Smoked and grilled turkey legs, which are available in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets, give this chili depth of flavor and complexity, while ancho and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce add an authentic nuance.

TOTAL TIME:2 hours, 35 min.



  • 2 ancho chilies, stem removed
  • 1 can chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, plus 1 Tbsp. sauce reserved
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped, plus 1 clove uncut
  • 2 large Spanish onions, roughly chopped
  • 5 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • ½ Tbsp. dried oregano
  • Pinch smoked paprika
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 quart water or chicken stock
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 smoked, grilled turkey legs (around 3 lbs.)
  • 1 lb. tomatillos, roughly chopped
  • ½ bunch cilantro, thick stems removed
  • ½ bunch parsley, thick stems removed
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded


  1. Puree the ancho chilies, the chipotle pepper and reserved sauce with 1 cup of boiling water. Set the chili puree aside.

  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot on the stove over medium heat. Sauté the chopped garlic and onions until golden, about 7 minutes. Lower the heat on the stove to medium-low.

  3. Add the tomato paste and cook it until it has a rusty color, scraping and stirring with a spatula constantly, about 10 minutes.

  4. Add the chili puree, tomatoes, cumin, oregano, paprika, cloves and bay leaf and stir. Add 1 teaspoon of lime juice and water (or chicken stock) and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  5. Add the turkey legs and bring everything to a boil. Next, cover the chili and simmer it over low heat until the turkey falls off the bone, about 2 hours.

  6. Blend the tomatillos, cilantro, parsley, jalapeno, reserved clove garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil about 45 minutes before the chili finishes. Season the salsa verde to taste and set it aside.

  7. Take the turkey legs out of the chili. Shred the meat and return it to the chili.

  8. Top each bowl of chili with salsa verde to taste.