A Rainy Day Stew
The sun barely revealed its bright face yesterday, and I’m glad it barred itself behind ashen clouds. The eternal drizzle and sharp wind were the perfect recipe for a cozy night indoors. I love everything about nights like these: big sweaters, cuddles, Netflix binging without guilt, and finding something hardy to cook.
After sliding on my oversized red sweater with elbow patches and discovering that MasterChef Junior was on Hulu (it’s the best), I took to the Internet to find that perfect rainy night meal. I’m generally one for going out to eat and rarely cook, even though I enjoy it. Therefore, I’ve been trying to make a home-cooked meal at least once a week. With so doing, I’ve been trying to stock my brain with simple, interesting recipes that I can easily memorize and replicate.
Tonight, I knew I wanted to make something with ground turkey. After perusing one uninteresting turkey meatball recipe after another, I decided to just focus on the Food Network’s Web site. I searched “turkey meatballs”, and on Page 2, I found my winner. Called “Spanish Turkey Meatball Stew”, I knew I had found a solid, stand alone dinner. I was truly sold when I realized my boo and I had all the ingredients needed, eliminating a rainy grocery tip, which we all know is the worst.
This recipe marries all the right ingredients: roasted tomatoes, garlic, onions, parsley, carrots, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and of course, turkey meatballs. It only requires one large skillet and bowl for mixing the turkey with its flavorful ingredients. It’s simple and chock full of flavor. When I cook at home, I’m never as satisfied at the end of a meal as when I eat out, however, not the case with this dish. It left me very satisfied.
As the rain continued to pour outside and we feasted on robust flavors, I was suddenly overwhelmed with contented happiness. I’m thankful for a warm house, plenty of food, cats trying to get in my lap and a handsome man with which to share life. That kind of fullness could only happen from a home-cooked meal.
Below is the basic recipe, but feel free to experiment. I used dried parsley and replaced one of the suggested roasted tomato cans with tomato sauce to thicken up the stew (and because my boyfriend isn’t a huge fan of tomato chunks). We paired the stew with some buttery naan for a complete dinner. It would also be wonderful over a bed of rice or couscous.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 cup sliced small carrots
- 2 14 -ounce cans low-sodium diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 15 -ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
- 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley (about 1 bunch), chopped, plus more for topping
- Freshly ground pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer half of the mixture to a large bowl.
Add the paprika and carrots to the remaining onion mixture in the skillet and cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth and chickpeas; bring to a rapid simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the ground turkey, parsley, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the bowl with the reserved onion mixture and mix with your hands. Form the turkey mixture into 20 meatballs. Place the meatballs in the skillet with the sauce and simmer, turning once, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Serve with more pepper and parsley.