Diced Turkey and Vegetable Casserole

Diced turkey dark meat was the new product on Coles supermarket shelves, which I have tried for several times now. I was very happy with different dishes made from dark turkey meat. For all of them I used turkey drumsticks, cooked for a long time. Diced meat was an easier option to create more turkey dishes with a shorter and more convenient cooking time. I was still prepared to cook it for more than an hour, but turkey meat becomes soft in less than an hour. As any casserole with poultry and vegetables, you can use any selection of vegetables to add to the dish, as well as make it as a thick soup, with plenty of sauce, or a typical casserole or ragout, with just enough juices to serve it with steamed vegetables or zucchini noodles.

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Ingredients:

  • 500g tray of diced turkey (dark meat, breast meat will not be as juicy and flavoursome)
  • 1 leek or 2 baby leeks (or 1 large onion)
  • 3-4 grated carrots
  • 1 small eggplant (I slice it thinly on mandoline slicer)
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1-2 table spoons olive oil
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (I used Aldi organic brand)
  • 2 thyme sticks
  • pinch of fennel seeds
  • 1 medium hot chilli (deseeded or with seeds, depending on the heat you like in casseroles)
  • salt and black pepper for seasoning

Preparation:

  • heat olive oil in a deep casserole pan
  • add fennel seeds
  • add sliced in semi-circles leek or onion
  • add grated carrots and celery, mix, season with salt, fry vegetables on low heat for 5 min
  • add diced turkey, cook for another 5 min
  • add thinly sliced eggplant, canned tomatoes, thyme sticks
  • season again with salt and black pepper
  • add boiling water to cover all meat and vegetables
  • cover the pan with a lid and cook simmering for 45-55 min
  • rest the dish before serving for 15-20 min
  • depending of how much juices you want to end up, continue all cooking with a lid, or remove the lid 15 min before the end, and let the liquid to evaporate to have a thicker sauce

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The abundance of grated carrots will balance even very sour canned tomatoes, no need to add any honey to the sauce. Overall the dish is very flavoursome and does not need too many herbs or spices. It can be cooked even without canned tomatoes. Dark turkey meat with added vegetables provides a lot of nice flavour even if cooked just in water. Thinly sliced eggplant practically dissolves during cooking. It thickens the sauce and gives the sauce an amazing fresh taste.

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The dish can be refrigerated up to a week and frozen for a longer storage.

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