Tavern Turkey Stew with Fried Oysters
- 3 pounds skinless, boneless turkey thighs, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 4 medium shallots, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 leek (white part only), well rinsed and cut into 2-inch strips, for garnish
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 medium yellow onions, diced
- 4 celery ribs, diced
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 4 cups (1 quart) chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups demi-glace, homemade or storebought
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 2 medium yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup chopped tomato
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Herbed Spaetzle, recipe follows
- Cornmeal Fried Oysters, recipe follows
- Cornmeal Fried Oysters:
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 24 extra-large Bluepoint oysters, shucked
- 4 cups (1 quart) vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 lemons, each cut into 4 to 6 wedges, for garnish
- Herbed Spaetzle:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey cubes, shallots, garlic, basil, parsley, thyme, and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally, at least 6 hours or overnight.
Pour 1/4 cup of the oil into a large saucepan. Heat the oil over high heat to 350 degrees. Add the leek and cook for 1 minute, until golden brown, being careful no to let the hot oil splatter. Using a slotted spoon, remove the leek from the oil and place on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Reserve.
Remove the turkey cubes from the marinade, discarding the marinade. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels and place in a medium mixing bowl.
Sprinkle the flour over the turkey cubes and toss to coat thoroughly.
In a large skillet, cook the turkey in 2 tablespoons of the oil over high heat for 5 minutes, until brown. Add the onions, celery, and carrots, and saute for 5 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables are crisp tender.
Add the sherry to deglaze the pan, loosening any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, until the liquid is reduced by 1/2, about 30 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the bay leaf. Reduce the heat and simmer, until liquid is reduced by 1/2. Add the demi-glace and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat.
In another large skillet, saute the red cabbage, zucchini, and yellow squash in the butter and remaining oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the tomato and saute for 2 minutes more, until the tomato is soft. Gently stir the vegetable mixture into the turkey mixture. Serve the stew over Herbed Spaetzle or egg noodles. Garnish with Cornmeal Fried Oysters and the reserved fried leeks.Cornmeal Fried Oysters:
Place the cornmeal, flour, and eggs in separate dishes. Dip each oyster, first into the flour, then the egg, then the cornmeal to evenly coat. Place the coated oysters on a baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to fry.
Pour the oil into a deep-fat-fryer or 4-quart heavy saucepan. Heat the oil over high heat to 350 degrees (if you drop a small amount of the cornmeal mixture into the oil and it sizzles, it's hot enough). To prevent the coated oysters from sticking together, carefully drop them into the heated oil 1 at a time.
Fry the oysters, a few at a time, for 2 minutes, until golden. Using a slotted spoon, remove the oysters from the oil and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Serve with lemon wedges.
Yield:4 to 6 servingsHerbed Spaetzle:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the flour, eggs, parsley, salt, thyme and rosemary on medium until combined.
Slowly beat in the water until the mixture is smooth. Beat about 5 minutes more, until the mixture becomes elastic.
In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Place the dough in a potato ricer or a colander with large holes and press the dough through the ricer or colander into the boiling water with a wooden spoon. Cook for 2 minutes, until spaetzle float, stir occasionally.
Using a sieve with a handle, remove the spaetzle and immediately place in an ice bath to cool quickly. Drain well. In a large skillet, saute the spaetzle in the butter over medium heat for 2 minutes, until golden brown and heated through. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
Recipe courtesy Walter Staib