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RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Turkey Stew (COVID Comfort Cooking)

17 Apr 2020 7:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Editor’s Note: This is a new feature that will appear from time to time. Many SIETAR USA members are doing more cooking as we are staying home during the time of the pandemic. As would be expected, recipes and/or cooking utensils often derive our international inclinations. In this case the Tangine (originally from Morocco) lends an international touch to an American staple: stew. Please consider submitting one of your favorite recipes with a picture of how it should look.

Turkey Stew (COVID Comfort Cooking)

By Chris Cartwright

Turkey Stew (COVID Comfort Cooking) I made this after going to the grocery store & finding most shelves bare. The whole turkeys were still well stocked & the shock of Pandemic caused me to want a warm stew, comfort food. This is an exercise in patience, revisiting my early training in SLOW Cooking. I’m in no rush to put a meal on the table in minutes, & by chunking the work down into separate, definable tasks, I can make the stew in stages over 2-3 days. The flavor is rich and simple. This is NOT a traditional Moroccan recipe … I wanted a simple dish we could savor for many days.

I used a large Moroccan Tagine because I own one. For those of you with ties to ICI, you might know that Christmas was a special holiday there, esp. for our Director, Janet Bennett; my Tagine was a present from her.


1 Whole Turkey (@8-10 lbs)
2 Onions
1 Bunch Carrots
1 Head Celery
2 Cups Chopped Boiling Potatoes (4-6 depending in size, Red or Yukon gold)
3 Bay Leaves
1 Tbs Dried Sage (or 3 leaves fresh)
2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Whole Black Pepper corns  (we substitute with Paprika as my wife doesn’t eat black pepper)
12 Cups Water
1 Cup Chopped Greens (Flatleaf Parsley, or Sorrel, or Arugula, or Romaine leaves, etc)

Step 1: Make the Stock (1-2 days before you plan to serve the Stew)

Cut the backbone/spine out of the Turkey (I find partially thawed bird easier to handle). Start at either side of the neck/upper back with a cleaver & cut down through to the tail. Hips/low back may take some wiggling of the cleaver to get through. Repeat on the other side of the spine. (Some people clip the last section/pointed tip of the wing & add it to the stock, I like to eat it & don’t add it to my stock)

Place the back & any parts from the Turkey cavity (neck, heart, livers, giblets, etc.) in a large Dutch Oven, or slow cooker that can hold all of the ingredients (@ 8 Quart). Put the remaining Turkey back in the refrigerator.


12 cups of water
1 Tsp. salt
2 bay leaves,
the sage
1 Onion, quartered
Tops & ends of the Carrots (@ 1 inch from both ends)
Tops & bottoms of the Celery head (@ 1 inch from both ends)
The ends of whatever green you are using (parsley stems, end of Romaine or Sorrel, etc.)

Place remaining vegetables back in the refrigerator)

Cover pot & set for 9 hours (overnight) is using slow cooker. If using Dutch Oven, bring to boil on stove top, place in a low over (2500) & leave overnight. If making on Stove top, bring to boil, then turn down to simmer & leave for 3 hours.

When Stock is cooked through:
Using tongs, remove Turkey parts to a platter & let cool to room temperature.
Pour Stock through a colander into a large pot or bowl
Press cooked vegetables with the back of a large spoon to render all of their juices. Discard cooked vegetables.
Pour stock through fine sieve to remove floating veg or meat.
Set aside 5 cups for the Stew.
Freeze remaining stock, (I use 2 cup freezer bags; just the right size for most recipes & they stack nicely in the freezer)

Once Turkey is cool enough to handle:
Pick meat off bones & reserve for Turkey salad or Pot Pie.
Reserve skin & fatty bits to cook down for Schmaltz
Cooked organs are good for pet treats

Step 2: Make Stew (The day or even the day before you plan to serve it)

NOTE: I used a large Tagine because I own one, but a large Dutch Over, or covered casserole dish is fine.

Cut Turkey into parts (2 each, breasts, thighs, legs, & wings)
Freeze ½ of the turkey for later (1 each breast, thigh, leg, & wing)
Chop (into bite sized pieces) remaining Onion
Place 2-thirds of the Onion in the Pot
Lay the Turkey pieces over it
Add remaining salt & herbs to the 5 cups stock
Pour over the Turkey & cover pot

If using a Tagine or Covered Casserole, place is a pre-heated 385 deg oven & lower heat to 325 deg & leave for 3 hours.If using a Dutch Oven, bring to boil on stove top, & then place into a pre-heated 325 deg oven & leave for 3 hours

While the stew is stewing:
Chop into 2 cups of bite sized pieces
Pull Pot form oven at 3 hour time
Remove Turkey parts with tongs & place on a platter
Add chopped vegetables (plus 1/3rd cup reserved onion)
Return to the oven for 20 minutes

While vegetables stew:

Put Thigh, Wing, & Leg in refrigerator for eating later (you can freeze if you like)
Remove breast skin & again reserve for schmaltz (or snacking)
Pull breast meat from the bones & shred.
Discard bones
Cut greens into ribbons (chiffonade)

At 20 minute mark, remove stew from oven:
Add the shredded Turkey Breast meat back in
Stir in Greens
Taste & adjust seasoning.
Return to oven for @ 10-15 minutes to heat through, or turn oven down to 1750 to keep warm until you are ready to serve. (You can also cool is for serving the next day at this time too)

Serve with crusty bread & butter & a green salad of your choice.

Recipe provided by Chris Cartwright April 2020

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