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Leftover White Turkey Chili

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year’s feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we’re bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.

My very first batch of white turkey chili involved tossing a bunch of ingredients into a pot and praying for the best. Much to my surprise, my family was scraping the bottom of the pot within an hour (and not because I didn’t make enough!). Now, leftover-turkey chili is as much a part of our Thanksgiving tradition as the holiday meal itself.

One of the things I love most about this recipe is that it never turns out exactly the same. If I’m feeling particularly lazy, I’ll swap canned chiles for fresh, and sometimes — if I want to get adventurous — I’ll toss in a few “exotic” peppers from the nearby Mexican market. This plan can backfire, however, if you don’t know what you’re doing (I didn’t), so make sure you sample the peppers before it’s too late. (Thankfully, a few cups of cooked white rice salvaged the pot and silenced the alarms, not to mention it tasted amazing.)

Play around with ingredient quantities and flavors to make it your own. Hominy and even white potatoes make tasty additions to this soup. I prefer my turkey chili to be thick and creamier than most. Some recipes call for adding cornmeal or pureeing some of the beans with an immersion blender, but I find that a basic roux with some milk (or heavy cream) does the trick.

The best thing about this dish, and chili in general, is that it just keeps getting better as the days go by. I suggest making it early in the morning, then turning off the range and letting it be. Now sit back, relax and savor your new day-after-Thanksgiving tradition.

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Leftover Makeover: Tasty Thanksgiving Remixes

I don’t know about you, but after Thanksgiving I can only handle one day of turkey-cranberry-stuffing sandwiches. After that, I start to get bored — and bloated.

Instead of treading the same-old leftover route, turn your Turkey Day extras into something different with Turkey Tacos (shown above). They’re great with white or dark meat; it doesn’t matter. Just reheat the meat in a saute pan with onions, coriander, cumin and chile power, wrap it up in corn tortillas and top with whatever you like: lettuce, sour cream, lettuce; maybe some picked carrots and jalapenos for a little punch.

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Turkey Sloppy Joes

Turkey Sloppy Joes Recipe

Come end of November, the only thing that rivals the anticipation of Thanksgiving dinner is the following week of Thanksgiving leftovers. The midnight fridge raid for a sliver of pie. A scoop of potatoes au gratin reheated for breakfast alongside some scrambled eggs. Another raid on the fridge for another piece of pie.

However, the true king of the leftovers is, of course, the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal, the turkey. Maybe it’s because we hardly ever take the time to roast a turkey the rest of the year, because come Thanksgiving, we just can’t get enough. In our household, we’ll even go so far as to roast an extra turkey on Thanksgiving just for the leftovers.

Of all our “turkey reinvented” dishes, Turkey Sloppy Joes is one of our all-time favorites. Saute up some onions and garlic. Add tomato sauce, ketchup, a little vinegar and brown sugar. Throw in a few more ingredients for spice and flavor. Chop up a chunk of the leftover turkey. And no sloppy joe is complete in our house without the addition of cheese. It’s a tradition that goes back to childhood.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Cooking Channel!  We hope you enjoy your day with family and friends.  Share your best pics with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Tomorrow, enjoy Day 2 with our amazing Leftovers Recipes.

While you’re in your digestive daze, start dreaming about Holiday Cookies!

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