Turkey Sarasota

The turkey and tomatillo stew I made last night came out especially flavorful, bright and delicious, according to my own reviews. The picture I posted previously on Facebook yielded a few requests for the recipe. I made it up as I went along, but here's my best recollection plus the adjustments I would make the next time I try it.

for the stock*:
2 turkey thighs
1 med. onion chopped
1 stalk celery
1 carrot
3-6 peppercorns
4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1/4 C. white vinegar

*it would of course, be much easier to use some chicken stock here instead, but a) homemade stock is way more fun, and b) you have to simmer the turkey anyway, so why not go for the gold...

1. put everything but the turkey in about 1 1/2 qts of water and bring to a boil, then add turkey, cover and reduce to a simmer for 45 min to an hour
2. remove from heat and put turkey in a bowl to let cool for later
3. pour the contents of the pot through a strainer and there's your stock

for the stew:
1 1/3 lb. tomatillos, husks removed
1 med ripe tomato, with an 'x' sliced in the bottom (for peeling later)
1 small onion, diced
1 rib celery, sliced
3 cloves garlic chopped finely
2 med yellow squash, into spoon sized pieces
1 lb. or so of red or creamer potatoes, chopped like squash
3 long hot peppers or a couple of jalepeƱos, or whatever your heat demands dictate
a couple of stock-worthy pig parts, like maws or hock (about 1/2 lb)
white wine
celery salt (to taste)
black pepper

1. in a sauce pan, boil the tomatillos for 7 - 8 minutes, then add the tomato and boil for another couple of minutes
2. strain contents, peel away the tomato skin, then puree the tomatillo and tomato
3. in a dutch oven or cast iron job, saute onion, garlic and celery and add pig parts to brown it for a couple of minutes
4. add puree and let simmer to thicken for about 5 minutes
5. add about 1/2 cup white wine and continue simmering for another 5 minutes
6. add turkey stock [just the liquid!] in the neighborhood of 4 C. but you'll have to adjust as necessary for a good stewy consistency, then add squash and potatoes, lay the peppers on top, cover and simmer for 1/2 hour; meanwhile, pull apart the turkey thighs into strips and chunks
7. remove the pig parts, throw in the turkey and most of your chopped cilantro, and let simmer for just a couple minutes
8. remove from heat, serve with chopped cilantro and a wedge or two of lime per bowl

enjoy with crusty bread and tell me how it goes!


  1. I made a beef stew the other night and the recipe called for salt pork. Is this just for a strong flavor...or is there another reason to use pig parts like this in a beef or chicken stew?

  2. It just deepens the meatiness of the flavor. I think it's common in lots of stews - especially France and Spain, far as I can tell. I don't know if I've ever actually used 'salt pork'. When I've used bacon, it's too potent, so I'd stay away from that.