Sunday, January 24, 2010

Recipe for Ground Turkey and Bean Stew with Cumin, Green Chiles, and Cilantro

Ground Turkey and Bean Stew with Cumin, Green Chiles, and CilantroA reader named Katherine from Sacramento sent me the link to green chile chicken and pink bean stew that inspired this turkey and bean stew with green chiles. I used ground turkey instead of chicken thighs, and Rancho Gordo Yellow Indian Woman Beans instead of pink beans, but I kept the generous amount of garlic, cumin, and diced green chiles from the original recipe. I also added a can of refried beans to thicken the stew, and although it ended up being not not overly photogenic, this turned out to be the kind of comforting stew I'd love to have in the freezer for a quick dinner. Don't skip the lime wedges for serving this; they're the perfect finishing touch.

You can use 2 cans of pinto beans if you prefer, but I cooked a pound of Rancho Gordo Yellow Indian Woman Beans in the crockpot and used three cups of them to make this soup. (More coming about cooking dried beans in the slow cooker.)

Brown 2 lbs. of ground turkey very well, and if you're making this for the South Beach Diet, be sure to use ground turkey with less than 10% fat. It will take 12-15 minutes to get nicely browned turkey, so don't rush this step.

Then push the ground turkey over to the side of the pan, add a little more olive oil, and brown the onions.

When onions are lightly browned, add garlic and ground cumin, mix the onions with the turkey, and cook for 2-3 minutes more.

The Food and Wine recipe gave me the courage to use two cans of diced green Anaheim chiles in this recipe, and I loved the green chile flavor.

Add the chiles and 3 cups cooked beans. Any type of mild flavored creamy beans will work here, but the Rancho Gordo Yellow Indian Woman Beans were great.

Add 3 cups chicken stock, reduce heat to very low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring a few times.

At this point I wanted a thicker stew, so I decided to add a can of refried beans.

I mixed the refried beans with 1/4 cup of water to thin it for easier mixing into the stew.

I stirred in the refried beans, then simmered the stew about 25 minutes more on low.

Then I added about 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and simmered the stew about 5 minutes more. Serve hot, with pieces of lime to squeeze into the finished stew.

Ground Turkey and Bean Stew with Cumin, Green Chiles, and Cilantro
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe adapted from Green Chile Chicken and Pink Bean Stew by Melissa Rubel Jacobsen for Food and Wine.

2 T + 1 tsp. olive oil
2 lbs. ground turkey (use turkey with less than 10% fat for the South Beach Diet)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, to season ground turkey
1 large onion, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
1 T minced garlic
2 tsp. ground cumin
3 cups cooked pink beans or pinto beans (3 cups = 2 cans. I used Rancho Gordo Yellow Indian Woman beans, cooked in a crockpot slow cooker, then drained.)
2 cans (4 oz.) diced green Anaheim chiles
3 cups chicken stock (or use 2 cans chicken broth)
1 can (16 oz.) refried pinto beans
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or more)
sliced lime wedges, for serving

Heat the 2 T olive oil in a heavy frying pan with high sides, add ground turkey, season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and cook over medium heat until the turkey is well browned. This will take 12-15 minutes; don't rush the browning step.

While turkey browns, peel a large onion and chop into 1/2 inch pieces. When turkey is well browned, push it over to the side of the pan, add 1 tsp. more olive oil, add onion pieces and cook about 5 minutes, until onion is lightly browned. Stir in minced garlic and ground cumin and cook the mixture about 3 minutes more, stirring a few times.

Add 3 cups cooked beans, 2 cans diced green Anaheim chiles, and 3 cups chicken stock. Stir to combine, then reduce heat and let the mixture simmer about 30 minutes.

Combine 1 can refried pinto beans with 1/4 cup water to thin the beans, then stir refried beans into the turkey and bean mixture. Simmer about 25 minutes more.

While mixture simmers, chop 1/4 cup (or more) cilantro. When the stew is as thick as you'd like it to be (about 25 minutes for me), stir in chopped cilantro and simmer 5 minutes more. Serve hot, with lime wedges to squeeze lime into the stew when you eat it.

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South Beach Suggestions:
As long as you use ground turkey with less than 10% fat, this is a great main dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. Although low-glycemic dried beans are approved for any phase of the diet, the recommended serving size for phase one is 1/3 to 1/2 cup beans, so for phase one I'd eat a small serving of this with something like Spicy Mexican Slaw as a side dish.

More Bean Stew Recipes to Try:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Crockpot Black Bean Stew with Roasted Red Pepper, Chicken, and Cilantro from Kalyn's Kitchen
Pressure Cooker Recipe for Pinto Bean and Ground Beef Stew with Cumin and Cilantro from Kalyn's Kitchen
Italian Sausage and White Bean Stew from Guilty Kitchen
Hearty Tuscan Bean Stew with Sausage and Cabbage from The Bitten Word
Pueblo Vegetable Stew from The Perfect Pantry
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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  1. I seriously wish that I would have read your blog earlier in the day! I felt like having soup, but didn't know what to make! This sounds delicious! I'll have to keep this in mind for the next time I have a craving for soup. I made tortellini tomato spinach soup and just posted it if you are looking for another wintery-soup recipe :)

  2. There is nothing like a big pot of green chile stew to make things right with the world. Perfection.

  3. Funny -- I just made a very similar chili, though the Rancho Gordo beans would have made it even better. I love making big batches of dried beans in the slow cooker; they come out perfect every time, and I think the flavor is so much better than canned beans.

  4. That photo may be the most beautiful presentation of a stew/soup I have ever seen... and the recipe sounds terrific!

  5. Whoo! Did you finally get your RG beans sent to you from the condo in SF?
    Nice shot. Cool dishes.
    It was bean day at our house too.

  6. Stews, I think, are not photogenic in the traditional sense but they definitely look appealing. In that homey comfort food kind of way. Looks fantastic! I especially like that it has refried beans in it.

  7. Now this is my kind of stew. Beautiful photo.

  8. Rebecca, I always love getting new ideas for soup.

    Dave thanks, I loved it.

    Karina, of course nothing can compared with freshly roasted Hatch green chiles, but diced green chiles from a can are one of my all-time favorite pantry ingredients.

    Lydia, I am completely sold on the slow cooker for cooking beans. I bet you'd like this recipe with 3 cans of diced green chiles!

    Year on the Grill, wow, thanks! It was really tasty.

    CookieCrumb, the funny thing is these actually were beans I bought several years ago in SF. I wondered how long it would take to cook "old" beans in the slow cooker, and found these in the back of the cupboard. Looking forward to getting some Rancho Gordo Cannellini beans when I come next month.

    Joanne, I thought the refried beans thickened this just enough.

    LeaAnn, thanks.

  9. That looks pretty darn attractive to me! I would feast on this for days!

  10. Green Chiles will always bring me in. Obviously this is a beauty the day it's fixed and then becomes a beauty again each time it comes out of the freezer. Wonderful.

  11. Great idea to add refried beans to thicken the stew! This is exactly the kind of stew I like - chock full of great ingredients.

  12. This sounds fantastic - except for the cilantro:) Thanks so much!

  13. I want to try those beans now. Also, let me know if you try that tofu place. Sounds interesting.

  14. What a hearty and tasty sounding stew! I like the use of the turkey for the meat.

  15. I long for the cooler days that would make this so right. Love all the additions you made. Beans = good.

  16. Yeah, soups & stews can be a tough one. Sometimes I'll over-load with bits versus the broth to get some texture, but then the stew doesn't look juicy enough.

    Whar's the Cotija cheese on top?

    xo, Biggles

  17. Hello there---I read your recipe yesterday and went home and made something similar. Although your picture looks much more appetizing than mine.

    I used peruano beans and gave a shot at making turkey chorizo. This is the first time I've commented and I just wanted to thank you for the great food recipes.

  18. TW, that's my favorite kind of recipe, something that tastes great reheated and that you don't get tired of.

    Tanna, I agree about the green chile love. They are so good in everything.

    Dara, me too, and the refried beans added flavor plus thickness.

    Katrina, just leave out the cilantro and put more lime!

    Maria, I do want to go there. I wish it was downtown though!

    Kevin I liked the turkey a lot here. The original recipe called for chicken thighs, which sounded like a pain to me to cut up and cut the fat off.

    Neil, you want stew weather, and I wish it was summer here. We're never happy are we?

    Biggles, I agree some Cojita cheese on top would have been good here. Might have added some interest to the photos too.

    Paula, you're welcome. I'm intrigued by the sound of turkey chorizo. I bet that's good!

  19. The stew sounds amazing. Nice twist with the lime.

  20. Mmmm i loved this! I just wished that I could have added more spice. Delicious and great idea. :)

  21. I can't tell you how thrilled I was to find your site. I'm starting back on SB after several years and needed ideas. I have to say that this stew is the favorite. I'll double and freeze in small batches next time (if there is any left). This tasted way too good to be legal! I've sent the link to several SB'ers so that they can enjoy it too! This is perfect, the fam has requested it for the Super Bowl Sunday.

  22. How nice to hear people are liking this. (And I always love to hear that the blog is useful to people.)

    I didn't have the superbowl in mind when I made this, but I also found myself thinking it would be a good option.

  23. I have this simmering on my stovetop right now... it smells and tastes great! We replaced half of the ground turkey with a lean turkey sausage.

  24. Sofia, I think using turkey sausage in this sounds great!

  25. I tried this tonight because I was trying to find something tasty to do with ground turkey. I amended the recipe to fit what I had on hand. I think the secret of this recipe is the browning of the turkey. Taking the extra time to develop well browned turkey really gives it flavor. I used cannelini beans, Italian seasoning and canned tomatoes instead of the pink beans and cumin and omitted the chiles. I deglazed the pan with a little red wine. I also added some frozen spinach, dreamfields elbow macaroni and a bit of grated Parmesan cheese. So there are definitely Italian favors going on. My husband LOVED it! Thanks for all the inspiration your website provides!


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