Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Turkey & Wild Rice Stew

Spring has definitely arrived in central Illinois, but we're still in that on-again, off-again pattern. Chilly, rainy days make me crave soup or stew, so I whipped this up for dinner using items already on hand.

I had turkey broth in the freezer, but you can easily substitute store bought or homemade chicken stock, chicken broth or vegetable broth.

The wild rice in this meal is special. Friends who traveled to Minnesota for a hunting trip brought it back for me. Minnesota Broken Rice grows naturally in fresh water. It's chewy with a nutty flavor. This rice is a bit tougher than brown rice and I've had trouble cooking it to the right consistency on its own. But it worked perfectly in this stew, staying al dente during the long simmering time. Rest assured, regular wild rice from the grocery store will work just as well in this main dish.

I'm calling this a stew because it was a bit thicker than I intended, but you can add more broth for a more soup-like consistency.

Mangia! Mangia!

Turkey & Wild Rice Stew
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 to 7 carrots, peeled and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
4 ribs celery, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1 large onion, diced
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
4 tablespoons flour
4 to 6 cups (or more) turkey broth (or chicken or vegetable stock or broth)
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup wild rice
2 1/2 cups chopped, cooked turkey or chicken
1/2 cup half & half or 1/2 cup milk combined with 1 tablespoon flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish

In a stock pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil with 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery and onion and cook about 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent.

Add the garlic and cook 3 to 5 more minutes, just until the garlic starts to brown.

Stir in thyme and cook until fragrant.

Add the flour and cook while stirring constantly, until the flour is browned and fully combined with the vegetables.

Pour in the turkey broth, bay leaves and soy sauce. Scrap up any browned bits on the bottom of the Dutch oven and stir to combine.

Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add wild rice, stir and then let simmer for another 25 to 30 minutes.

Add turkey, salt and pepper. Stir in half & half or milk and cook until slightly thickened. Add more broth if you want to thin out the liquid.

Serve garnished with fresh parsley or cilantro.

A note about leftovers: The stew may thicken even more in the fridge, but reheating it will return the dish to a more stew or soup-like meal. And you can always add a little more broth!

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