It was a no-brainer because in our house what is usually left after a turkey dinner is lots of skin and bones (for making stock), and random bits and pieces of turkey meat that lend themselves perfectly to being eaten out of a bowl.
Last year I made this Pumpkin Chicken (or Turkey) Chili which was a huge hit. This year, I wanted to try making a creamy and satisfying chowder, and I knew that Jones Dairy Farm’s Dry Aged Cherry Hardwood Smoked Bacon would be the perfect addition.
The bacon itself was the best I’ve ever had! Dry aged + Cherry Hardwood Smoked = THE BEST BACON EVAH! Trust.
I put the word “smoky” in the title of this recipe not just as a gimmick, but because it REALLY IS SMOKY! The bacon was so loaded with smoky porky flavor that I couldn’t stop eating it right out of the pan!
[pinterest text=”Smoky Bacon and Turkey Chowder – a low carb and gluten free recipe from ibreatheimhungry.com. The perfect use for those turkey leftovers!” layout=”horizontal” image=”http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/turkeychowder3small-494×700.jpg”]
That smokiness was somewhat diluted by the soup, so I added a bit of liquid smoke flavoring to the broth which pushed this chowder over the edge into something extraordinary!
The cherry hardwood smoked bacon pieces that I cooked into the soup rendered down to silky morsels that delivered amazing flavor in every bite. I did manage (barely) to save some of the crispy bacon to garnish the soup with, and that added a satisfying crunch and burst of bacon flavor at the end.
[pinterest text=”Smoky Bacon and Turkey Chowder – a low carb and gluten free recipe from ibreatheimhungry.com. The perfect use for those turkey leftovers!” layout=”horizontal” image=”http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/turkeychowdersmall-500×700.jpg”]
I was originally planned to use cauliflower in place of potatoes, but I decided to splurge a little by using a small amount of sweet potatoes instead – they added a lovely color and slight sweetness that perfectly complemented the creamy, smoky broth. If you want to further reduce the carb count though, cauliflower would work well as a low carb potato substitute in this recipe.
This is comfort in a bowl people. You might think you’re sick of turkey by the end of this weekend, but I promise that if you try this chowder you’ll consider roasting another one ASAP just to have leftovers so you can make it again!
[pinterest text=”Smoky Bacon and Turkey Chowder – a low carb and gluten free recipe from ibreatheimhungry.com. The perfect use for those turkey leftovers!” layout=”horizontal” image=”http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/turkeychowder2small-500×333.jpg”]
And if you don’t want to go to all that trouble you can simply purchase a rotisserie chicken and a package of Jones Dairy Farm Dry Aged Cherry Hardwood Smoked Bacon from your local grocery store and make this delicious low carb chowder any time of the year!
- 8 oz dry aged cherry hardwood smoked bacon
- 1 large shallot, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup celery, chopped
- 8 cups turkey (or chicken) stock
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1½ cups raw sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 4 cups cooked turkey meat, shredded or chopped
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Chop the raw bacon into 1 inch pieces. Brown the bacon in a medium saute pan until slightly crisp. Remove about ¼ cup of the bacon, crumble and set aside for garnish. Add the shallots and celery to the bacon and grease in the pan, cooking until soft - about 5 minutes. Add the turkey stock, whipping cream and shredded cheddar cheese, whisking until melted and mostly smooth. Carefully add the sweet potato, turkey, parsley, and liquid smoke. Simmer about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Whisk in the xanthan gum and cook for 5 more minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in the fresh thyme, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, garnished with cooked bacon and more fresh thyme leaves.
Obligatory Disclaimer: As the Jones Dairy Farm Blog Ambassador I receive free products and also monetary compensation for each recipe I post that specifically promotes their products. All opinions, photographs, and recipes posted here are my own unless otherwise specified.