September 26, 2012

Turkey with Hatch Chiles, Okra & Rice Skillet



Ingredients:
1 lb cubed turkey breast
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 fire-roasted Hatch Green Chiles, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup diced okra
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup chicken or turkey stock
2 1/2 cups hot, cooked white rice
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


Directions:
In a 12-inch cast iron skillet, heat some oil. Add the vegetables and cook until they are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the turkey and saute until nearly fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Stir in the rice, spices and stock. Stir until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.


My thoughts:
One the most requested type of recipe I receive is one skillet dinners. This is difficult for me because while I do make a fair amount of all-in-one meals in the slow cooker, if I am making a meal on the stove-top, it pretty much isn't a one skillet creation. Often I am making a main dish for this blog and a side for a client or vice versa. Or trying to make a bunch of recipes for the blog all in one shot.

But, the readers have spoken and I like to listen. I made a one skillet dinner. However, while I was typing up the recipe, I realized this isn't quite a one skillet meal because you have to make the rice in seperate pot. Hmmm. I just put it in the rice cooker so that's not cooking, right? Loophole. You could make the rice ahead of time or use leftover rice and heat it up slightly; warm rice seems to absorb the stock better. The stock really brings the flavors of the dish together so you don't want to skip that step.

I had dirty rice in mind when I was making it. I've been craving dirty rice but I didn't have liver on hand and I've been trying to avoid huge shops at the supermarket the last couple of weeks (just picking up odds and ends like bread, fruit) because I have so much food in the freezer and fridge already. I had defrosted some boneless turkey cutlets so I cubed them, used the rest of the Hatch Chile peppers we hadn't frozen and some okra that miraculously was still fresh despite being in my refrigerator for over 2 weeks. I thank shopping at farm stores and very, very cold refrigerator for that trick. Luckily, it all came together and was tasty to boot. Call it "clean rice". The peppers do turn the rice slightly green though.

I think it is the perfect meal to pull together on a weeknight. It is homey without being bland or boring and really satisfying. The okra stays nice and crisp which provides great texture variety, something I always find lacking in a lot of one skillet meals.

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