November 30, 2010

Leftover Turkey, Part 2: Quick Southwestern-Spiced Breadsticks and White Turkey Chili

Juli's sister Cecelia made the main dish for dinner on Black Friday.  She'd decided to make a white chili using the leftover turkey, but since she didn't have a recipe handy, she decided to wing it.  I helped out with a few seasoning suggestions, and I also came up with a nice little side to go with the chili - breadsticks flavored with southwestern seasonings. 

These breadsticks represent one of those rare times when I go with pre-prepared dough instead of making my own.  I did that largely because of the convenience and speed.  I'd recently read an article somewhere about using pre-made pizza dough to make breadsticks, as opposed to using bread dough.   The author stated the pizza dough tends to crisp up better, and that sounded good to me, so I went with that idea.

Coming up with the recipe was pretty simple, really.  All I did was select some spices common to southwestern, Tex-Mex and Mexican dishes and figure out the proper ratio.   From there, it was a simple matter of slicing the dough, shaping the breadsticks, brushing them with melted butter, sprinkling on the spice mixture and tossing them into the oven for a few minutes. 

They turned out quite good, especially considering how quick and easy they were to assemble, and they were indeed nice and crispy without being hard or dried-out.  The recipe is definitely a winner, and the breadsticks went great with the chili. 

I've included both my breadstick recipe and the tossed-together-on-the-spot recipe used for the chili. 

Cecelia's White Chili

1 1/2       pounds dried navy beans
3             tablespoons butter
3             carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
6             stalks celery with leaves, thinly sliced
1             yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2          white onion, finely chopped
1             tablespoon chili powder
1             teaspoon kosher salt
3/4          teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2          teaspoon ground cumin
1/2          teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
4             cups chicken broth
2             pounds cooked turkey or chicken
1             can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes and green chilies
3/4          teaspoon garlic powder
               sour cream, chopped cilantro, chopped fresh tomatoes
               and/or grated cheese to garnish.

Add beans to a Dutch oven.  Add water to two inches above the level of the beans.  Soak 12+ hours.

Drain off water, then add fresh water to about 1 inch above the beans.  Boil one hour.  Check beans for doneness at that point; cook until beans are soft.  Once beans are soft, drain the water.  Reserve 1/3 to 1/2 of the beans; return the remainder to the Dutch oven.

Melt the butter in a skillet, then saute the carrots, celery and onions until they are softened.  Stir in the salt, oregano, cumin, chili powder and black pepper and cook for a couple minutes.  Meanwhile, add the chicken broth to the Dutch oven with the beans , then add the sauted vegetables.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Add the turkey (or chicken), the Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with chilis, the reserved beans and the garlic powder.   Cook for about 5 minutes to heat through; taste, adjust seasoning if necessary and serve.

If you like larger chunks of carrots but also want them soft, microwave them for about 2 minutes before sauteing them.

Leftovers of the jalapeno corn casserole Juli made the day before mix in well with the chili.  

Quick Southwestern-Spiced Breadsticks

yield = 8 breadsticks

1       teaspoon ground cumin
1       teaspoon garlic powder
1       teaspoon onion powder
1/2    teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2    teaspooons dried cilantro, crushed
1/4    teaspoon kosher salt
1/8    teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/8    teaspoon cayenne pepper
1       tube prepared pizza dough
2       tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Prepare two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the first eight ingredients in a small bowl.  Mix thoroughly.

Unroll the pizza dough and cut it into 16 slices.  Twist two slices together in a spiral pattern, pinching the two slices of dough together at each end, and place the dough twist on one of the baking sheets.  Repeat with the remainder of the pizza dough.

Lightly brush each dough twist with melted butter, then sprinkle with the spice mix.  Bake for 12 minutes or until golden-brown.  Transfer the cooked breadsticks to a cooling rack lined with parchment paper or paper towels, let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

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