Warming Moroccan Turkey Stew

It’s a given that a delicious bowl of stew hits the mark on a cold November night. This warming stew has a fiery kick with the hidden cayenne in the spice mix. A little extra simmering will soften the heat if taste buds are sensitive.

Ras el hanout gives this Moroccan dish a super kick of heat and warm flavours. If unable to find this aromatic spice mix at your local grocery, substitute with 2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin, 1 tsp (5 mL) ground coriander, 1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger, 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon (optional) and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cayenne.

 

Ingredients

4 tsp (20 mL) ras el hanout

1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp (2 mL) sweet paprika

1 lb (450 g) boneless turkey breast, skin on or off

1/4 tsp (1 mL) kosher salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper

2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

4 medium carrots, scraped and cut into 1/4 in (0.6 cm) coins

1 medium sweet onion, peeled and diced

3 garlic cloves, smashed and minced

2 tsp (10 mL) peeled and grated gingerroot

2 cups (500 mL) low-sodium chicken or turkey broth

2 Tbsp (30 mL) low-sodium tomato paste

1 lemon, thinly sliced

1/2 cup (125 mL) pitted green olives

1/4 cup (60 mL) seedless golden raisins

2 Tbsp (30 mL) slivered dried apricots

19 oz (540 mL) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh cilantro

Sliced almonds, toasted for garnish (optional)

Directions

In large shallow bowl, combine ras el hanout, cinnamon, and paprika. Stir to blend. Set side.

Remove turkey breast skin, if you wish. Lightly season breast with salt and pepper. Then dredge in seasoning mixture, making sure it’s well coated under skin and all around. For optimal flavour, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

In large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add turkey breast, skin side down if still intact, and sear until browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn over and brown the other side. Remove to a dish.

Add carrot coins, onion, garlic, and ginger to Dutch oven, and sauté until onions are soft. Add a splash more oil if needed. Add broth and tomato paste and bring to a gentle boil. Return turkey breast to Dutch oven and nestle into liquid along with lemon slices, olives, raisins, and apricots. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of turkey registers 165 F (75 C).

Remove turkey breast to cutting board and cover loosely to let rest for a couple minutes. Add chickpeas to Dutch oven and heat through.

To serve, cut turkey breast diagonally into thick slices. Ladle chickpea stew into serving bowls and place several slices of turkey breast on top. Scatter with cilantro and some toasted almonds, if using. Delicious the same day, although flavours intensify when served the next day. Excellent served with flatbread or ladled over couscous or rice.

 

Each serving contains: 686 calories; 103 g protein; 15 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 34 g total carbohydrates (11 g sugars, 8 g fibre); 401 mg sodium

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