Bowl of the Wife of Kit Carson

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Many years ago, when I was living in Thailand and enduring long flights across the Pacific, I found a cooking magazine on the plane, and copied down an unusually titled recipe, “Salad of the Wife of Kit Carson”, which was a grilled chicken salad served with garbanzos, chilies, cheese, and avocado. A couple of days ago, I was looking around for something new to do with leftover Thanksgiving turkey, when I spotted “Bowl of the Wife of Kit Carson”, which was a turkey, garbanzo, and green chili soup, and was a famous dish from The Fort restaurant near Denver. This version is adapted from the 1971 Time-Life Books American Cooking: The Great West, with modifications to make it more suitable for using up leftover turkey and turkey stock.


1 cup dried garbanzos, soaked overnight

2 quarts turkey stock (unsalted)

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1-1/2 tsp. dried Mexican oregano

7 oz. can diced mild roasted green chilies

3 Tbs. long grain rice

4 cups chopped cooked turkey

½ tsp. cumin

2 tsp. salt

¼ cup pickled jalapenos, chopped

1 Tbs. vegetable stock concentrate

1 ripe avocado, sliced

8 oz. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Lime slices


Cook the soaked garbanzos until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the cooked garbanzos and slightly crush them.


In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and saute the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Add the turkey stock, crushed garbanzos, oregano, green chilies, rice, turkey, cumin, salt, pickled jalapenos, and vegetable stock concentrate and stir well. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the rice is cooked.   Adjust the seasoning. Serve in bowls with sliced avocado and shredded cheese.


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