Winter Squash, Cranberry Bean and Pulled Turkey Chili

Photo by Michael Piazza / Styled by Catrine Kelty

This recipe truly embraces the produce New England dishes out in the autumn months. The ingredients invoke feelings of Thanksgiving, in the best possible way. You can even make this recipe to use up leftovers after the big meal! I use sugar pumpkin here but you can choose whichever type of squash you prefer (there are plenty of options, like butternut, delicata or hubbard). As with all chili recipes, feel free to adjust the seasoning to your preferences.

Serves 6–8

1 whole, bone-in, skin-on turkey breast
(3–4 pounds),  or 2 pounds leftover Thanksgiving turkey meat, shredded
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher
salt, divided
½ tablespoon black pepper
1 pound fresh cranberry beans, 
shelled, or 2 cans borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
2½ cups cold water
1 large squash, diced into 1-inch
½ tablespoon cinnamon
½ tablespoon nutmeg
½ tablespoon allspice
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 can puréed, unsweetened pumpkin
3 cups turkey broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Plain Greek yogurt and sliced scallions for serving

If roasting a fresh turkey breast, preheat oven to 350°F. Brush turkey with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook skin side up on a rack in a roasting pan, basting occasionally, for about 1 hour or until a meat thermometer reads 165°F. Remove from the oven and loosely cover with foil. Once cool, remove the skin and shred the meat. Set aside in fridge.

Meanwhile, place the cranberry beans (if using) in a small saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, then place a lid on top and reduce to a simmer. Let cook 25 minutes so that the beans have begun to soften but are not yet fully tender. Remove from the heat, drain any excess water and set aside.

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat add remaining olive oil, cubed squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, thyme, remaining salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the squash begins to soften, add the onion, bell pepper, chili powder and cumin. Continue cooking over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the squash and bell pepper are tender.

At this point add the can of pumpkin, the turkey broth and the cooked or canned beans. Mix everything together and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper or seasoning depending on your preferences. Let cook another 30 minutes, or until squash and beans are softened, adding water if you want a thinner chili. Add the shredded turkey breast and stir until all the ingredients are well distributed, then serve with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of scallions.

This story appeared in the Fall 2017 issue.