New York Times bestselling author, slow cooking expert and mommy blogger next door
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Slow Cooker Turkey Stew Recipe

I made the most delicious turkey stew over the weekend. I've never actually had turkey stew, so I don't know if it's the best that exists, but it's definitely the best I've ever had. And, since I used leftover food from Thanksgiving, it was free!

I'm kind of bummed Adam took the leftovers to work to eat for lunch, because now I'm forced to eat peanut butter on an apple-cinnamon rice cake. Again.

The Ingredients.
serves 8

There are two parts, here. The first part is to make broth with your leftover turkey carcass. If you don't have a carcass on hand, and would still like to make this soup, jump to the next step and use 8 cups of chicken broth and 2-3 cups chopped turkey.

for broth:
use a 6 quart slow cooker.

turkey carcass, or rib cage bone-sets from 2 turkey breasts
9 cups of water
2 tablespoons granulated chicken bouillon (read label carefully for msg and gluten, I used the Herb Ox brand)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (this takes the meat flavor out of the bones, and creates a beautiful color and flavor)
1 large onion, finely diced OR 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes

cook on low overnight, or for about 8 hours. Unplug, and remove stoneware from cooking element. Uncover and let cool. When cool enough to "go fishing," remove all bones from broth, leaving meat inside the pot.

note: if your slow cooker releases a bunch of steam and condensation while cooking, put a layer of foil or parchment paper down over the top, then put the lid on so you don't lose your cooking liquid.

for stew, add the following:

2 cups peeled and diced sweet potato
1 (28-ounce) can diced or stewed Italian style tomatoes
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon chile powder
1 (15-ounce) can corn, and juice
4 cloves chopped garlic OR 1 teaspoon dried garlic powder

The Directions.

Combine all ingredients in a 6 quart slow cooker and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or until sweet potatoes have reached desired tenderness and flavors have melded.

The Verdict.

We all really liked this a lot. The girls were slow to warm up because they thought the name "turkey stew" was weird and didn't like that the broth wasn't clear, but I didn't offer them anything else to eat. When they finally tasted it, they happily finished their bowls. Adam said he liked it even better than our normal turkey soup, which is pretty high praise, since that soup is fantastic. I really liked the deep color and the sweet potatoes in contrast to the tomato base. This did not have any spicy taste, just lots of flavor.
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mary said...

makes me want to grab the leftover turkee out of the trash

Nan said...

Mmmmm, that sounds really good. Turkey makes such an excellent "leftovers", and the best soup stock. Loving your book, by the way! Will use your crockpot baking soda deodorizer tonight to rid the kitchen of the silicone sealant/vinegar/garlic smells of this week. We've been cooking and plumbing!

bostonred said...

I dunno - I have to say, that turkey and wild rice soup is pretty tasty! I made it for the first time this year, added some mushrooms I had on hand, and had to use a wildrice, basmati rice, and brown basmati rice blend because I couldn't find just plain wild rice.
It was wonderful! I guess the next turkey will turn into this stew, and I can do a fair comparison.
I'm having a great time making my way through your book.

Angela's Kitchen said...

I love the sound of the sweet potatoes in this. Yum!

I just got your book (a little gift to myself, thank you very much!). It's been so fun going through it. I am so excited for you that this was published. It turned out fabulous! How about the other book you wrote? I have been trying to keep an eye out for that, but no luck so far... Any news on it? Pretty, pretty please?

Stephanie O'Dea said...

LOL, Mary!

thanks so much, Nan---and woah, that smell doesn't sound the best.

sue, I KNOW! I LOVE that soup. It's a total toss up for me.

Angela, thank you! So far no go on the other book, although I have written some of it out at
I really need to get that site more up to date.

xoxo steph

Schmoomom said...

Just gotta comment on your product choice-I LOVE Dei Fratelli tomato products! I use their Italian style sauce for pizza, pasta and lasagne. SOOOO good, so much better tasting than any of the other jarred or canned pasta sauces we've tried and cheaper per ounce than any of them as well, AND no MSG, gluten or high fructose corn syrup.

Jessica Nunemaker said...

Wouldn'tcha know...I just polished off the last of the turkey last night! *sob*

Looks great! ;)

Crazy People I've Worked With said...

Just discover your blog and I am SO EXCITED!! I am a huge devotee of crock pot cooking, and you have some of the most varied recipes I've seen around. THANKS!!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

The ground coriander in this is a bit of a surprise; I'd probably reach for cumin automatically, but will try this in my next turkey stew.

Pam Elmore said...

The stew sounds great -- I'm going to try it with some of my turkey stock! (I always use turkey and chicken carcasses for crockpot stock, but I've never used balsamic vinegar -- I'm going to try that next time!)

mama hall said...

You KNOW I love your blog & your recipes!
I came here from A Heart for Home to win a copy of your book. I already bought 2 copies for my best girlfriends, but I want one REEEALLY BAD for myself :)

Tiki (& sometimes Kesey) said...

We used your stuffing recipe you posted last year for Thanksgiving. Best stuffing we ever made. Tahnk you so much!!

Tiki's Mom

Julie said...

Ok I have a question, please forgive me if it's totally stupid. I have never bothered to save the turkey carcass for soup before. This year I did (I just wrapped it up really good and stuck it in my extra freezer). I'd like to try this stew but the carcass it pretty picked over. The only meat left would be the undesirable fatty back meat. I couldn't actually use that, could I?

Sam said...

Mmmm... I added carrots and white beans. Tasty! Made a ton of broth, too, so I froze it in ice cube trays. I guess I could use it to make another soup another time!

Thank you SO much for this recipe!

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Julie,

it's totally not a stupid question. You can still use the carcass to create the soup base. If you think there's too much fat left from the skin and the back meat, after the broth has cooked, you can let it sit and get to room temp. Once it hits room temperature, refrigerate for a few hours, and all the fat will float to the surface, so you can skim it off.

Then make the soup as normal, although you may want to add some additional turkey or meat to "beef" it up a bit.

xoxo steph

Schmoomom said...

Julie, I almost never use meat off a poultry carcass that I've cooked down for stock-it's stringy and tasteless, all of its yummy has gone into the broth. The cats like it, so they usually get it. There isn't ever very much anyway.

Alison said...

OMG! Sooo timely, which is probably not surprising given the date/proximity to Thanksgiving, but I've got a turkey carcass and sat down to learn how to make it into a soup and this is perfect!

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

Stephanie...I immediately got up from the computer and made this yesterday! We had smoked one turkey and roasted another for Thanksgiving and I had one large carcass from the smoked one left (had already made broth and froze it from the roasted one). I first broke the carcass and leg bones I had saved in half and put one in one 6-qt crock and one half in another (I have a total of five crocks!). I made the delicious broth following your instructions, love the brown color you get from the balsamic vinegar! I then took some of the broth and made the turkey stew. My husband is on dialysis so can't eat sweet potatoes, so I just used the corn and onions. Since I use only Hatch (we go to Hatch, NM twice a year to pick this stuff up!) chili powder in recipes, I used the medium hot and, together with the broth from the smoked turkey it tasted like chipotle! Anyway, it was a wonderful soup and I thank you for inspiring me to get busy and use that carcass yesterday. You're the best!

Maria D. said...

Hi! Although I've been subscribed to your blog for over a year, I'm visiting you from A Heart for Home this time. ;-)

Jelli Bean said...

Yummy! I'm visiting from a heart for home, and I am very impressed with your recipe collection! I've only recently began utilizing my slow cooker and now I have so many possibilities! Yay!

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Delish, Steph! I made my turkey tortilla soup and a new pot pie with my leftovers, but I'll use this recipe next time. I've always used a little apple cider vinegar to extract the calcium, but using balsamic vinegar sounds even better! I might just have to go ahead and try this recipe using some chicken carcasses I have in the freezer.


Tony said...

We tried this soup tonight, but we had to use chicken and store bought broth and I added some white beans. Everyone ate it without complaints and finished their portions(and I surprised my husband by telling him it was sweet potato and not carrots in the recipe). However neither of us was really wowed by it. It did have a unique flavor though. Maybe the leftovers will meld flavors more and impress us. I was happy how quickly it came together though!

Sarah said...

I've made this stew twice already, and I love it!
First time used our turkey carcass from Thanksgiving. Substituted a few things to just use what I had on hand. Subbed cumin for the corriander; and used a mix of paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic salt in place of the chile powder.
Second time I bought the corriander, but I just used straight chicken broth and some cooked chicken breasts.
Delicious both times.
My hubby would like me to try thickening it up next time to make it more hearty. (Not that it's a thin soup, per se, he just wants to try it thicker.) I like the idea of adding white beans like a couple people have mentioned. Any other ideas out there?

Corners of My Life said...

I came to your site to find out how to make turkey stock in my crockpot because I just knew it would be here.

Bookmaster said...

great recipe! I made the broth yesterday and the stew today. I threw in some rice to make it a bit thicker. Yum! Looking forward to seeing how much tastier it will be tomorrow too!

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