Turkey meat on the bone, slowly cooked with vegetables in spicy coconut sauce, makes a wonderful dish, with intense and comforting flavours. It can be served on its own as turkey and vegetable ragout, or with any side dishes to accompany it. Zucchini noodles, served as the grain free version of the side dish to this ragout, are simply the best. The abundance of spicy sauce, with some vegetables completely melted to make this sauce thick, juicy and soft pieces of turkey meat, falling from the bones, make this ragout a delicious, hearty and convenient dish not only for the cold weather. It takes 3-4 hours to cook turkey drumsticks to make them soft as pate, but the result is worth all this time spent.
Cooked turkey meat falls from the bone. It can be easily separated from the bones and tendons (there are plenty of those in large turkey drumsticks) and returned to ragout for safe serving.
Ragout can be refrigerated for several days or frozen, if longer storage is needed. When using slow and long cooking process I like to use many spices and herbs, and some of their combinations are not that common. I have found that during long cooking times all spices blend together well, and in the end give a very complicated and deep flavour to the sauce and infuse the turkey meat, making it completely unrecognisable.
- 2 large turkey drumsticks
- 4 carrots
- 1 large onion
- 1 leek
- 1 red capsicum
- 2 celery sticks
- 1 eggplant
- 2 table spoons cold pressed olive oil
- 1 can of coconut milk/cream (I used 270ml can of light pure coconut milk, best to use 2 of these cans, or 400ml can of coconut cream)
herbs and spices
- 1/2 tea spoon fennel seeds
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4-5 fresh thyme sticks
- 4-5 cloves
- 1 table spoon of cumin powder
- 1-2 table spoons smoked sweet paprika
- 1/3 tea spoon ground black pepper
- 2-3 tea spoons organic crushed ginger (fresh ginger is even better)
- 4 tea spoons of mild to medium hot garlic and sweet and hot chilli peppers paste
- 1 tea spoon of honey (optional, needed sometimes to balance ginger in low fat sauces)
- salt to taste (around 2 tea spoons, salt quantity can vary depending on liquid amount and type of salt used)
Note: I regularly use my own home-made fermented garlic, sweet chilli peppers, hot chilli peppers and parsley paste, but for this recipe I used the paste without parley. It was made from organic home-grown garlic, we received as a gift from our friends, and chilli peppers both sweet and hot. It worked well without parsley in Three Bird Roast recipe, and I decided to use it in this recipe, too.
Preparation time depends on the size of turkey drumsticks, I have only seen very large ones in our shops. Cooking time for those is 3 to 4 hours on low heat.
- wash and dry turkey drumsticks
- slice onion and leek in semi-circles
- cut capsicum in long strips
- slice carrots and celery medium to thick slices
- heat 1 table spoon of olive oil in a deep casserole pan
- add fennel seeds
- add onion and leek and lightly fry them for 3-5min
- add celery and carrots, season with salt
- cook vegetables for 5 min on low heat
- in a separate pan heat another table spoon of olive oil
- fry turkey drumsticks to lightly brown the skin
- add turkey to vegetables
- add coconut milk/cream
- add capsicum and eggplant
- add all herbs and spices
- add water to just cover the meat
- cook occasionally turning the meat if it is not completely covered with liquid
- after an hour, check the taste of the sauce and add salt and honey if needed
- cook on low heat until the meat starts to separate from the bone
- let the dish rest for 30min in a pot
- take turkey meat out and separate it from the bones and tendons (large drumsticks have many flat, long and sharp, bone like tendons, which are easy to separate from the meat)
- return meat chunks to ragout
I served turkey ragout with zucchini noodles. After I have received vegetable twister/spiralizer as a Christmas gift, I use it all the time to make zucchini noodles as a side dish with any main dishes with sauces. It is quick, simple and very tasty.
During cooking the sauce reduces and thickens with the help of complete disintegration of leek, onion and eggplant. Slow and long cooking not only makes even very dry meat soft and moist, but also infuses meat and sauce with the different flavours. These flavours come not only from herbs and spices, but from the abundance of fresh vegetables in the dish. I used 270ml can of light coconut milk. For the portion of meat and vegetables I used, it did not have enough fat to balance the sharpness of ginger added. I added 1 tea spoon of honey to balance that sharpness. Alternatively, (I tried it before) use either 400ml can of coconut cream, or 2 cans 270ml coconut milk. Honey will not be needed and the sauce will be even thicker.