Russian Sweet and Sour Turkey Stew

So I decided to do something a bit different with the turkey frame from the Thanksgiving turkey breast.  I have already made two soups that are more standard: Turkey Lentil Soup and Turkey Split Pea Soup with Broccoli.  Now I want to change it up a bit to something out of the ordinary.  Not to say the recipes I have already made are bad, they were both marvelous.  However, I do think a change makes life more interesting.  The recipe for this turkey stew is an adaptation of Russian Sweet and Sour Beef Stew “Solyanka”.  Solyanka is a beef stew with lots of vinegary ingredients.  It also contains a lot of beef and sausage.  Not unlike the Polish Bigos recipe I made a while back.   It’s not the healthiest recipe as written.  The calorie load is almost a days worth of calories for someone on a 1200 calorie diet.  The sodium and fat are more than a days worth.  Like the Bigos recipe, I think with a few tweaks, I can make this a lot healthier while paying homage to the original recipe.  Here are the original stats:

See what I mean.  I plan to keep all of the vinegary ingredients, but change up the protein and fat content.  Here’s what I changed:

  • I replaced the bacon lardons with olive oils for healthier fat and to lower the calories.
  • I replaced the smokes polish sausage with ground turkey seasoned as kielbasa to lower the fat, sodium and calories
  • I replaced the beef stew meat with a turkey frame and leftover roasted turkey to reduce the calories.
  • I replaced the passata with a can of pumpkin puree to replace the tomatoes and increase the vitamin A.
  • I replaced the baby potatoes with russet potato because that’s what I had on hand.
  • I replaced the dried mushroom with baby bella mushrooms because of availability.
  • Increased the carrots to 5 to increase the vitamin A.
  • I added red bell pepper to increase the vitamin C.
  • I increased the servings from 6 to 12 to lower the calories.

These changes make this recipe a whole lot healthier.  Still plenty of meat and vegetables.  Here are the final stats:

Russian Sweet and Sour Turkey Stew

Serves 12

  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 oz chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 turkey frame
  • 2 lb cooked roasted turkey
  • 1 lb turkey kielbasa (see recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup pickles/gherkins chopped
  • 6-8 marinated mushrooms preferably from Eastern European store
  • 15 Kalamata olives pitted
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 carrots sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 15 oz pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika smoked
  • 740g russet potato, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp of each chopped dill and parsley

Turkey Kielbasa

  • 1lb ground turkey (85/15)
  • 2 Drops liquid smoke
  • 1-1/4 Teaspoons ground sage
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 Teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 Teaspoon dried marjoram

Add the spices to the ground turkey and mix until combined.

  1. In a large cast iron pot heat the olive oil on medium heat.  To the same pot add the turkey kielbasa and brown.  Remove the cooked meat to a separate plate.
  2. To the same pot add chopped onion and sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes, add chopped carrot, red bell pepper, mushrooms and garlic and continue sautéing for 5 more minutes, then add butter, marinated mushrooms, pickles, olives, and paprika, cook while stirring for 5 minutes.
  3. Return sausage to the pot, add 2 bay leaves, turkey frame, pumpkin puree and 1.5 litre of water, bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 2 hours. 30 minutes before the time is up remove the turkey frame and remove any meat and add to the pot along with potatoes and the rest of the cooked turkey.
  4. Check your stew once in a while, stir to avoid burning. By the end of the cooking time it should be thick . Add chopped herbs at the end. Taste and adjust the flavour if necessary. 
  5. Serve with sour cream or creme fraiche and slices of lemon if desired.

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