Spicy Turkey Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Spicy Turkey Stuffed Poblano Peppers #tryturkey


Turkeys and I are good friends. Well, friends in the sense that I love to eat them up. So maybe frenemies is the better term, but either way I love turkey.

From Succulent Spiced Turkey Carnitas,

Turkey Carnitas


to Mini Brie Stuffed Turkey Burgers,


Mini Brie Stuffed Turkey Burgers | Black Girl Chef's Whites


to Turkey Chili Pasta,

Turkey Chili Pasta

and Cherry Chipotle Glazed Turkey Meatballs,


Cherry Chipotle Glazed Turkey Meatballs | Black Girl Chef's Whites


it is obvious I am a fan of the All American bird. Did you know Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the symbol of America? The bald eagle won that battle, but its always nice to be nominated.

My latest recipe featuring turkey is an amazingly flavorful and easy Spicy Turkey Stuffed Poblano Peppers. Think of those stuffed bell peppers your grandma used to make, but so, so much better!


Poblano Chile Peppers


Turkey is a very mild meat that lends itself to so many different flavor profiles. Poblano peppers are a mildly spicy chile, that is most often recognized as the pepper used in the Mexican dish Chile Relleno. For this recipe, I chose to season ground turkey with a myriad of spices before stuffing and baking it in the halved chiles. While the recipe is simple, the results are not!

I am working with the National Turkey Federation to promote awareness about how versatile and delicious turkey is. Don’t just think about turkey at Thanksgiving, consider it a meat to buy year round. Not only is is easy to cook, it is considerably lower in fat than many other meats and tastes fantastic.

The National Turkey Federation supports its farmers to raise well-treated turkeys in comfortable settings that are environmentally safe and that by doing so raise the tastiest turkey. By providing all the information retail and restaurant professionals need to raise awareness educate and inspire people to try an unexpected, healthy and flavorful lean protein – turkey.

Spicy Turkey Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8 peppers
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Pepitas, or roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle chile
  • 4 poblano peppers, halved, seeds removed
  • Sliced jack cheese (optional)
  1. Heat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the turkey, shallots, pepitas, salt, thyme, cumin, coriander and chipotle.
  3. Using clean hands, throughly mix all the ingredients together.
  4. Place the poblano pepper halves into an 11 X 9 baking dish,
  5. Divide the turkey mixture between the peppers.
  6. Gently press the turkey into each pepper, evenly distributing the meat.
  7. An optional garnish is sliced mild cheese. If using place the cheese on top of the turkey.
  8. Cover the dish with foil and bake 40 minutes.
  9. Remove the foil from the dish and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until the turkey is nicely browned.
  10. Serve immediately.


I’ve given you five excellent turkey recipes but for additional recipes, tips, videos and resources on turkey,  visit the Serve Turkey website.


You  can also find great information and recipes on the Serve Turkey Facebook page as well as the Serve Turkey Twitter account.



Cherry Chipotle Glazed Turkey Meatballs

Cherry Chipotle Glazed Turkey Meatballs | Black Girl Chef's Whites

Cherry Chipotle Glazed Turkey Meatballs is a rather fancy name for these easy to put together appetizers. What makes them so easy is Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup, a delicious new dipping sauce from my friend Erika Kerekes of In Erika’s Kitchen. Not Ketchup sauces are made with ripe fruit instead of high fructose corn syrup for sweetness, and savory vinegar and spices to balance the flavors. It is a delicious addition to the dipping sauce aisle, but it is much more than that.

When this sauce is mixed with boring and bland lean ground turkey, a transformation takes place. The turkey soaks up the sweet, tangy heat of the sauce, making a juicy and flavorful bite size treat. These meatballs make wonderful appetizers or as a dinner entree. I think the next time I make them I will toss them with some pasta and vegetables.

While the sauces are not available in stores nationwide yet, you can order them directly from the Not Ketchup Shop.  Head on over there and help a female owned business grow!


Cherry Chipotle Glazed Turkey Meatballs | Black Girl Chef's Whites




Recipe: Cherry Chipotle Glazed Turkey Meatballs


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + more for frying
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup + more for glazing Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saute pan over medium high flame.
  2. Add the onion, red pepper, cumin, salt, pepper and oregano to the pan, stirring to mix.
  3. Cook the vegetables and spices, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the vegetables from the heat and let cool.
  5. Heat the oven to 350° F.
  6. Place the turkey, panko bread crumbs, cooled vegetables and 1/3 cup Not Ketchup into a large bowl.
  7. Mix the ingredients together well, then form golf ball sized meatballs.
  8. Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep skillet.
  9. Brown the meatballs in batches.
  10. Place them onto a large baking sheet.
  11. Baste the meatballs with more Not Ketchup to form a glaze.
  12. Bake until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
  13. If desired, serve the meatballs with more Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup for dipping.
  14. Makes about 24 – 28 meatballs

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 8 minute(s)

Copyright © Cheryl D Lee.

Cherry Chipotle Glazed Turkey Meatballs | Black Girl Chef's Whites




Thanksgiving is not about sitting around eating too much food with family that you may or may not even like.

Thanksgiving is about being grateful for what you have, even if it a mere pittance compared to others. Being grateful you woke up that morning. Grateful you are employed, or if you are not, that you were able to scrap together enough to keep going until you find a new job. Grateful for the people in your life who pick you up when you fall, and even grateful for those who don’t because it reminds you to be more kind than they were.

I am grateful that my 80 year old mother is still fighting her 13-year battle with lung cancer, even when she is driving me crazy.  And before the judgment begins, no she was never a smoker. Ever.

According to Cancer.net, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women.

Although smoking is the primary cause of the increase in lung cancer in women, lung cancer is diagnosed in women who have never smoked. Researchers think the following factors may contribute to the development of lung cancer in women who don’t smoke:

  • Genetic factors, such as how women’s bodies react to carcinogens (substances that cause cancer)
  • Environmental factors, such as exposure to secondhand smoke, radon, and asbestos.
  • Hormones, such as estrogen

Doctors call lung cancer in women an epidemic, and they are looking for differences in lung cancer between men and women.

So mom continues to fight her fight, and is grateful for every day she has. Especially every day she can spend with her precious granddaughter. Even when that precious granddaughter is driving her crazy.

I am grateful I have a wonderful 4 year old daughter, who may try my patience once in a while (all right, every day) but I know how blessed I am to have her. Being a single mother is the hardest job in the world, but I would not change a thing. Except maybe I would win the lottery once or twice.

I am grateful for my friends, many of whom have been friends since we were in high school, junior high school and even elementary school.

I am grateful for my new friends, especially my food blogger friends. Many a relationship was formed through Twitter and food blogger conferences. Some became friends before we actually met in person, we were “virtual” friends on the internet. But that relationship is no less real than one formed on the playgrounds of youth.

I spent an incredible day with a group of food bloggers, breaking bread, laughing and toasting the joy of our friendships. We had an early Thanksgiving, filled with good food, great people and smiles.  Just like a family Thanksgiving.

Here is a list of links to all their delicious recipes, all worthy of your Thanksgiving table. Or anytime for that matter.

APPETIZER — Crispy Yukon Gold Latkes with Harvest Fruit Puree from Tori Avey. Her blog is called The Shiksa in the Kitchen

TURKEY – Tips to Make Any Turkey Beautiful and How to Make the Sugared Grapes and Leaves Garnish from Denise Vivaldo of Food Fanatics Unwashed

SALAD — Endive Boats with Avocado, Pomegranate and Crab Salad from Rachael Hutchings of the blog La Fuji Mama.

POTATO – Garlic and Herb Potato Gratin from Dorothy Reinhold of the blog Shockingly Delicious.

CRANBERRY —Dorothy’s Fresh Cranberry-Ginger Relish from Dorothy Reinhold

SIDE — Caramelized Chestnuts and Brussels Sprouts in a Cider Vinegar Glaze from Greg Henry of the blog Sippity Sup and podcaster at The Table Set

SIDE — Spiced Roasted Winter Vegetables from ME!

BREAD — Potato Herbed Focaccia with Caramelized Shallots from Louise Mellor of the blog Geez Louise

DESSERT — Kahlúa Sweet Potato Pie with Kahlua Whipped Cream from Patti Londre of the blog Worth The Whisk and our Thanksgiving Blogger Potluck Project Manager.


Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

Fresh Herb Compound Butter

This post was originally published last year before Thanksgiving.  This is still a great way to make your holiday bird, and it remains my favorite way to prepare turkey.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Assorted fresh herbs

How many of you have stuffed and roasted a big, beautiful turkey only to have it come out dry and tasteless?  You know…when you ask how it is and everyone just smiles and nods while chewing as hard as they can.  You see them try and swallow that big lump of dry poultry, hoping they don’t choke and you have to give them the Heimlich.  Yeah, been there…

So what’s the big secret?  Butter. And to make it really special, a compound or seasoned butter.  What is a compound butter, you say?  A compound butter is a butter that is seasoned with herbs and spices.  You can use fresh or dried herbs, citrus zest, aromatic vegetables such as onion and garlic and your favorite spices.  The great thing about a compound butter is that you can add any flavor profile you want.

Seasoned butters are easy to make, and add so much flavor to any number of dishes.  I usually make a large amount and freeze it, then slice off what I need as I need it.  This recipe makes a pound of seasoned butter, but smaller amounts are just as easy to make. I used a food processor for this, but only because I was using a lot of fresh herbs, was in a lazy mood and did not feel like chopping the herbs by hand.  If you are doing a butter with just dried herbs or spices, its easy to make it by hand.

The key to a compound butter is to make sure your butter is softened.  Not melted, just softened.  You want all the ingredients you are using to be evenly distributed in the butter.  Be flexible with your ingredients, and don’t worry about exact measuring.  Add a little of this, a little of that and TASTE! Then adjust your ingredients as needed. I have included approximate measurements so you have a basic idea of the amounts needed to make a good seasoned butter.

Fresh Herb Compound Butter

About 1 cup fresh herbs of your choice, such as thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil

1 lb butter, softened

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Strip the leaves of your herbs from the stem, and place them into the bowl of a food processor.  The thyme I used was so tender and fresh the stems were not woody, so I didn’t worry if I got a bit of stem in the processor.  But if the stem is woody, be sure to strip the leaves off.  You can keep the stems for seasoning stocks if you wish.  Just wrap them tightly and throw them in the freezer.

Fresh herbs in processor

Chop the herbs roughly in the processor.  Add the butter and process until smooth.  You will have to stop the processor a few times, and scrape down the sides.  The butter will be soft and smooth when done.

Finished butter in processor

Place a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface. If you don’t have parchment, use wax paper.  Scrape the butter out of the bowl, and put it in the bottom 1/3 of your parchment.  I used a rolled parchment, so I needed to weight it down to stop it from rolling back up on me.  That is why you see my pepper grinder in the picture.

Finished butter ready to be rolled in parchment paper

Fold the short end of the parchment over the butter tightly, and begin smoothing the butter out while shaping it into a log.  Press firmly but gently on the parchment so any air bubbles are smoothed out.  Pull back on the parchment that is folded over the butter to tighten and compress the butter.

Shaping butter into a roll in parchment paper

Roll the butter up completely in the parchment paper, and fold the ends to close it.  If it’s not perfectly round, don’t worry!  It will still taste good, and that’s whats important.  The cylindrical shape just makes it easier to cut when it is frozen.  Kind of like a tube of cookie dough.

Butter rolled up in parchment paper

Place the roll in the refrigerator to firm the butter up, and it is ready to use.  If you wish to freeze it, wrap it in a couple layers of plastic wrap. When you want to use it, just unwrap the frozen butter, and cut off slices with a sharp knife.  Then re-wrap and put it back in the freezer.

To make your Thanksgiving turkey moist and flavorful, rub your compound butter all over your turkey.  Lift the skin of the turkey and rub some butter directly on the meat, especially the breast area.  I even rub the inside of my turkey before I place my aromatic vegetables in the cavity. Then roast your turkey slowly in a 200 – 250 degree oven, basting often with the drippings.

You can use the butter for flavoring other dishes too.

  • Melt the butter over pasta, add some grated Parmesan cheese and toss
  • Place a teaspoon or so of butter on top of baked or grilled chicken breast or salmon
  • Place a tablespoon or so on a grilled or broiled steak
  • Melt some butter on your steamed or sauteed vegetables for extra flavor
  • Use a seasoned butter to make garlic bread

Whatever you make with your butter, enjoy it and be sure to experiment with different flavors.

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

Succulent Spiced Turkey Carnitas Recipe

As you probably know, I love pork in all it’s forms. Bacon, ribs, sausage, loin roast, chops, and especially carnitas. Carnitas are made from pork shoulder, also known as pork butt, which is a meaty and fatty cut of pork. Carnitas are cooked in large quantities of lard, almost poached in the fat. This make them tender and juicy on the inside, with a crispy outside. But an easier way to do them is to braise the pork until tender, shred the meat, then roast it in the oven until the pork gets crispy. So good.

But, all I had was a turkey thigh and big ideas. Turkey thighs are also a meaty and (slightly) fatty cut of meat, so why couldn’t I make carnitas out of a turkey thigh? The key would be the spices I used, not just on the meat but also in the braising liquid. Off I marched to my pantry, were I looked through all my chile powders. You can’t grow up in California and not have a varied selection of chile powders on hand at all times. I decided to go with ground ancho and chipotle chile for the spice rub. Both are available everywhere now, and the flavors have found their way onto the American palate. I grabbed some chicken broth, and then knocked over a jar of cinnamon sticks. The light bulb above my head lit up, and so I grabbed the cinnamon sticks too. Spicy, sweet, savory…oh yeah.

Spice rubbed turkey thigh, cinnamon, cumin and chile powder
Spice rubbed turkey thigh, cinnamon, cumin and chile powder

Succulent Spiced Turkey Carnitas

1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground ancho chile
1/4 tsp ground chipotle chile
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 lb turkey thigh
2 TB olive oil
1 qt low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp oregano, preferably Mexican
1 cinnamon stick
zest of 1/2 medium orange

In a small bowl mix salt, ancho chile, chipotle chile and cumin. Rub spice mixture onto turkey thigh, refrigerate and let marinate at least six hours to overnight.

The orange zest does not need to be fine. I peeled half an orange, then scraped the white pith from the inside. You’ll have three or four large pieces.

Peeling zest from the orange
Peeling zest from the orange

When ready to make the carnitas, heat the oil in a large, deep pan. Brown the turkey thigh well, as the carmelization adds to the final flavor of the dish.

Good carmelization on the turkey thigh
Good carmelization on the turkey thigh

Add the chicken broth, oregano, cinnamon stick and orange zest. Bring this to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Turn the meat once or twice while braising for even cooking. The thigh will take about 1 1/2 hours for the meat to become very tender. Remove the meat from the broth and place onto a cutting board. Remove the skin and discard. Using two forks, shred the meat into small pieces.

Shredding cooked turkey carnitas meat
Shredding cooked turkey carnitas meat

Place the shredded meat back into the broth to keep it moist. Because I am using turkey I decided to eliminate the roasting step to crisp up the meat, because I did not want the meat to dry out.

Toast some corn tortillas on the stove by placing them directly on the open flame of a burner. Using tongs, move the tortilla over the flame, turning often, until softened and slightly charred.

Place a little of the turkey carnitas into your tortilla and top with salsa verde, pica de gallo, or whatever you like on your carnitas. I had some fresh arugula leaves, and put them on my carnitas along with some salsa. Delicious!

Turkey carnitas in corn tortillas
Turkey carnitas in corn tortillas

I neglected to get a picture of the turkey carnitas with the arugula because my family ate them so quickly!

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista