Turkey really shouldn’t just be for Christmas. Especially as it’s available in my local supermarket throughout the year. I’ve always preferred the leg, or dark meat, of most poultry. The same, too, for turkey. Not to everyone’s taste, but I would urge you to try this recipe, partly as it’s so simple to prepare and cook. Although, it’s best to slow cook the turkey pieces after reducing the stock a little. From start to finish I would leave at least an hour to cook this as the meat, by then, will be wonderfully tender.
Turkey Pieces with Black Beans, with caramelised onions and home-made gravy
- 400g (14.10 oz) x turkey pieces, washed, any excess fat removed and dried on kitchen paper
- 1/4 x teaspoon cayenne pepper OR up to 1/2 x teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 x large onion, about 200g (7.05 oz) – chopped
- 2 x garlic cloves, shelled and chopped
- 2 x celery stalks, washed and roughly chopped
- 2 x carrots, about 200g (7.05 oz) – peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 x small onion, peeled and cut into quarters
- 2 x garlic cloves, in their shells with root end sliced off and discarded
- 4 x small sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 x organic vegetable stock cube
- 450ml (0.95 pt US Liq) x cold water
- 1 x dried bay leaf, ripped
- 1 x green chilli, kept whole – optional
- 1 x teaspoon paprika
- 1 x 420g (14.8 oz) can black beans, drained – or about 200g (7.05 oz) dried and cooked to the packs instructions
- long grain rice, about 70g (2.46 oz) or more per person
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- After chopping the onion(s) add to a heavy-based pan with a little oil. Put on electric heat N0 2 (out of 6) for around 20 minutes, stirring through the occasional time (if using a thin based pan put on low heat only). Take off heat, prep the garlic and add to same pan. Put on a lid.
- After rinsing the turkey pieces, and drying them off, put on a large saucepan on heat No 4 with a little oil to coat its base. When hot enough (please make sure the oil isn’t smoking) add the turkey pieces and allow to settle. Sealing the meat will take about 10 minutes to brown nicely on all sides. Shake the pan, or stir through to prevent the meat from sticking to the base of pan.
- Prep the stock in a small saucepan with the water, stock cube and bay leaf on heat No 2.
- Prep the celery, carrots, onion and garlic whilst keeping an eye on the turkey. When the meat is golden add the vegetables and the chilli and stir through. When the stock cube is dissolved pour over the turkey and add the fresh thyme. Bring the turkey pieces to a boil and continue to cook for at least 10 minutes, lowering the heat to No 3 if necessary. Then, cover with a lid, turn heat down to No 2 and simmer for around 40 minutes. Keep an eye on its progress, and stir through the occasional time. Lower the heat to No 1 if necessary. And, add a little more water if the gravy is beginning to thicken too much. However, there won’t be loads of gravy at the end of cooking time.
- It’s perfectly Ok to continue with caramelising the onions as they will keep well off heat if cooked before the meat. After the initial 20 minutes cooking time prep the garlic and add to the pan. Lower heat to No 1 and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes. If there are any signs of scorching then take off heat for a little bit. Move the mixture to the sides of pan, add the paprika and allow to infuse over low heat. Add a little more oil if necessary. After a couple of minutes take off heat, put a lid on pan and set aside
- With about 10 – 15 minutes of cooking time left is probably the best time to put on a saucepan with sufficient water to cook the rice. Either follow the pack’s instructions, or follow my guidelines below.
- When the turkey has cooked for the 40 minutes remove the celery, carrots, onion and thyme, with either a fork or large serving spoon, and discard. Add the onion mixture, pouring in some of the stock into its pan, swirl a little to release any sediment and add that to the turkey as well. It’s all flavour.
- After rinsing the beans add these to the turkey, up the heat again to No 4. Bring to near boiling pint, lower heat to No 2 and continue to simmer. This will allow the beans to heat though and enough time to finish off boiling the rice. I usually allow the meat to stand for several minutes off heat with a lid on top whilst sorting out warming my dinner plate, grabbing salt and pepper, etc.
- I’m going to add here how I cook long grain rice. I’ve quite often heard people say that their rice turns out soggy or sticky. It’s simple: pour cold water into a large saucepan, about ½ way, put on heat No 4 until it boils. Measure out about 70g (2.46 oz) , or more, of rice per person, add to the water and leave it. Don’t stir, don’t add salt. After about 5 – 8 minutes it’s OK to stir through, gently, to release any grains of rice from the base of pan. Check a grain or two to test if its cooked (when the rice is cooked it’ll have a sweet smell). Cooking time will differ according to how large the grains are, too. If so, simply strain through a colander or metal sieve and serve.
To store cooked rice: If you need to store rice overnight then rinse immediately with cold water after its cooked until the grains of rice are absolutely cold. Drain as well as possible and add to an airtight container. Refrigerate at once. NEVER store overnight and reheat next day if you’ve forgotten to chill the rice immediately after its cooked!
Turkey Pieces with Black Beans - summary
- Prep the onion(s), add them to a heavy-based saucepan at electric heat No 2 (out of 6) with a little oil. If using a thin based pan then put them on low heat only. Allow to cook for 20 minutes, stirring through the occasional time to prevent them from sticking.
- Put a large heavy-based saucepan on heat No 4 with a little oil. When hot enough add the turkey pieces and allow to settle. After several minutes shake the pan the occasional time. When beginning to brown keep an eye on the turkey to prevent any scorching. Stir through, and continue to seal for up to 10 minutes.
- Prep the stock in a small saucepan with the stock cube, water and bay leaf. Once the stock cube has dissolved pour over the browned turkey meat. Add the green chilli, if using, and the fresh thyme.
- Prep the celery, onion, carrots and garlic and add them to the turkey.
- On heat No 4 bring the turkey, stock and vegetables to a boil, continue to cook on same heat for about 10 minutes, then cover with a lid and lower heat to No 2. Continue to cook for around 40 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure there’s enough water. If not, add a little at a time. Turn down heat to No 1 if necessary.
- When the onions are nice and golden prep the garlic and add to the pan. Put on heat No 1 and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring through the occasional time. Then, move the onion mixture to the side of the pan, add the paprika and allow the spices to infuse for several minutes. Add a little more oil if necessary, and take off heat if the spices begin to bubble.
- Put on sufficient water for the rice, at heat No 4.
- When the turkey has cooked remove from heat. Using a fork or large serving spoon remove the celery, carrots, onion and thyme and discard. When the onion mixture is nicely caramelised and the spices have been allowed to infuse add them to the turkey. Rinse the black beans and add those as well. Bring back up to near boiling point, increasing the heat to No 4. Lower the heat to No 2 and allow to simmer for around 5 – 10 minutes so the beans will be thoroughly heated through.
- Cook the rice to the pack’s instructions.
- Allow the turkey to stand for a few minutes whilst draining the rice and plating up.
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