Thanksgiving in July – Slow Cooker Mexican Turkey and Potato Stew

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Have you ever heard of the Christmas in July sales?  I haven’t seen them as much lately, but I remembering them being more prominent when the Internet wasn’t the main way to shop.  I’m making this post about Thanksgiving in July because I have a full turkey in the freezer from last Thanksgiving and Tony wanted me to make it.  Yes, I realize it’s August now, but I did make this recipe in July.  I promise.  I recommend going to your grocery store after Thanksgiving and buying an extra turkey (or two).  I believe I bought this for 59 cents a pound.  Getting a turkey at that price yields some pretty cost effective protein.

I found there are two challenges to doing a full turkey in the summer.  One is the oven.  I don’t want to use the oven and heat up the house.  The second is how can I do something more interesting with the turkey.  Turkey meat by itself is good, but there has to be something else to do with it.

I was able to solve the oven problem by using the Deconstructed Turkey method on the grill.  I am doing the breast section as is.  I am taking the dark meat and solving the second problem of doing something interesting.  I am taking a recipe for Mexican Chicken and Potato Stew and adapting it for the slow cooker.  The original recipe is not half bad on nutrition.  Needs a bit more vitamin A and lowering the calories a touch, but I don’t think this is too much to adapt.  Here are the original stats:

  • 336 Calories
  • 14g Fat
  • 86mg Cholesterol
  • 620mg Sodium
  • 680mg Potassium
  • 32g Carbohydrate
  • 25g Protein
  • 49% Vitamin A
  • 102% Vitamin C
  • 4% Calcium
  • 15% Iron

Not too bad at all.  The original recipe uses chicken thighs and chicken stock.  We can eliminate the stock since we are using bone-in dark meat turkey.  Other than that a few tweaks and you have a great dish for your dark meat turkey.  Here’s what I changed.

  • I replaced the chicken thighs with the dark meat from the whole turkey with bones.
  • I deleted the canola oil to reduce the calories and because we are not cooking on the stove, we don’t need it.
  • I removed the chicken stock and replaced with water.  The bones in the turkey will provide the basis for the stock.
  • I replaced the canned tomato with a 15oz can of pumpkin puree.
  • I added in an extra carrot and bell pepper to increase the vitamin A and C.
  • I increased the servings from 7 to 16 because the amount of meat from the turkey is much greater than the chicken thighs.

Here are the final stats:

  • 294 Calories
  • 8g Fat
  • 154mg Cholesterol
  • 227mg Sodium
  • 640mg Potassium
  • 22g Carbohydrate
  • 36g Protein
  • 131% Vitamin A
  • 149% Vitamin C
  • 6% Calcium
  • 19% Iron

Here is the final recipe:

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Slow Cooker Mexican Turkey and Potato Stew

Serves 12

  • 5 pounds bone-in turkey leg and thigh meat, skin removed
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh or canned pineapple
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 canned chipotles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 12” cubes
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 sprigs epazote or cilantro
  • 1 (15-oz.) can 100% pure pumpkin puree
  • 3 tbsp. capers, rinsed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  1. Add all of the vegetables, pineapple, spices, chipotles, jalapeno, potato and water to a large slow cooker.
  2. Place the turkey over the vegetables.  Cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
  3. Once the turkey meat is cooked, remove it and shred the meat.  Discard the bones and return the shredded meat to the slow cooker.  Stir the ingredients.
  4. Add in the cilantro, lime juice and capers and stir.  Serve.
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