Turkey Stew with Peppers and Mushrooms
Sacramento can’t make up its mind if spring has sprung or not. Everywhere you go, trees are in bloom, my star magnolias included. For the last few days the sun has been shining brightly. They sort of trick you, that sunshine and those blooming trees. I’ve abandoned my heavy jeans for cargo shorts in anticipation. But nooooo… one step outside and I quickly race back in, to put on wool socks and a sweater. (The cargo shorts stay. Denial is a powerful thing.)
The good news about chilly weather is that one has yet another good excuse to make a hearty stew! This is a turkey, bell pepper, and mushroom stew from our archives, originally posted back in 2004. We remade it, updated it, shot a new photo, and like it even more. The original recipe from which we adapted this one came from cookbook author Marian Burros. She described it as a traditional “veal” stew, but made with inexpensive turkey meat. Wonderful flavors from the turkey, peppers, and Hungarian paprika, and smooth tang from the yogurt tomato sauce.
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced, abut 2 cups
- 2-4 bell peppers of various colors, sliced thinly
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika or few dashes cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds skinless, boneless turkey thigh or breast, cut into large chunks
- 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 1 14-ounce can of plum tomatoes with juice
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup plain (full fat is best, anything less will likely curdle*) yogurt
*To help prevent curdling, don't skip the corn starch, use full fat yogurt, and add to dish only when the sauce has cooled below a simmer.
1 Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the onions and peppers and sauté them until they begin to soften and lightly brown. Add the sweet paprika, the hot paprika, and the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more, until the garlic is fragrant. Remove the peppers, onions, and garlic from the pan and set aside.
2 Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms and the turkey to the pan. Sear the mushrooms and turkey over high heat, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, until the turkey and mushrooms begin to brown. Reduce the heat to medium, return the peppers-and-onion mixture to the pan and mix well.
3 Squeeze the tomatoes to break them up, and add them with their juices to the pan, along with the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, rosemary and black pepper. Mix well, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
4 Stir the cornstarch into the yogurt and add to stew. Cook over low heat (do not let simmer or boil), stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens a little.
Serve with rice, polenta, or mashed potatoes.