Need a leftover turkey recipe that is delicious enough to make you forget you’re using leftovers? Our smoky turkey corn chowder with bacon, inspired by Epicurious, will make you want to roast a turkey more than once a year just so you can feast on this belly-warming soup.
Studded with colorful vegetables, smoky bacon and shredded turkey, this quick and easy chowder comes to the table with mouthwateringly bold flavor. Though many corn chowders are heavy on corn, white potatoes, and cream, our turkey corn chowder features satisfying mouthfuls of onions, peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots and turkey cooked to tongue-tantalizing perfection in a lighter soup base. Delicious and nutritious, this chowder is a welcome reprieve from hefty holiday eating.
We all know bacon makes everything better so we start our turkey corn chowder with it. The bacon adds a distinct smoky depth of flavor that makes your tastebuds wake up and take notice. Also, if you made homemade turkey broth with the Thanksgiving turkey, now is your chance to put it to use. Turkey broth lends a meaty intensity to the chowder but you can also use homemade or canned chicken broth.
Tip: Which turkey should you use, the white meat or the dark meat? White meat is leaner and healthier but dark meat is richer in flavor. If you have white and dark meat available, use both so you don’t have to choose.
Cook bacon in a large pot until it is crisp, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel. Drain off all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pot.
Add onions and carrots to the pot with the hot bacon fat. Sauté until they are softened. Toss in the chopped bell pepper and cook until soft. Stir in the jalapeno and toasted cumin. Take a whiff! The flavorful aroma will make you swoon. Sautéing vegetables in bacon fat infuses them with smoky, salty bacon flavor that goes deliciously beyond the bacon bits.
Add turkey broth
If you made homemade turkey broth with the Thanksgiving turkey, now is your chance to put it to use. Turkey broth lends a meaty intensity to the chowder but you can also use homemade or canned chicken broth.
Cook the sweet potatoes
Add the sweet potatoes, diced green chiles, oregano and bay leaves. Simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender.
Time to add the turkey
Add the shredded turkey and corn to the pot and cook until hot. Stir in the half-and-half. Adjust your seasonings and add more half-and-half, if desired.
Garnish and serve
Serve your chowder hot with crumbled bacon, scallions and fresh parsley sprinkled on top. Enjoy!