July, you left me tired.
All good things, but the going-going-gone has come to an end, and I’m looking at August and the rest of the summer through a more relaxed lens. And frankly, I’m over the moon about it.
I had a whirlwind weekend in Chicago, celebrating Chicagogrammers and the past year, catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones. Now that I’m back home for a while, I’m excited to dust off my oven mitts and pick up my rusty wooden spoons and get back into the kitchen.
We’re starting with something easy. Something to throw together with whatever happens to be left in the freezer or the fridge. Keeping it easy, keeping it breezy. Because summer, I’m still with you.
However, deny it if you will, but fall is in the air. The days are a little shorter, the morning air a bit crisper, and that calls for something a bit heartier. Something to prep us for all the stick to your ribs foods to come.
While Mom can eat soup 365/24/7, I need a bit of weather to prompt me into the season. This one uses up some of those leftover bits of summer still lingering in the garden, and introduces a few meatier tastes of the fall. Roasted turkey makes it hands off. Homemade stock makes it delicious.
Mom likes to buy turkey parts from the market, roast them up and make stock. I reap the benefits of this practice, so this takes a bit of prep work to make it exactly as this is. However, easy is good, so if you want to pick up a rotisserie chicken and boxed stock and throw that in instead, be my guest and enjoy the time you’ve saved.
- 2 pounds bone-in turkey parts, dark meat preferred
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, seeds removed and diced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp coarse black pepper
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 14-oz can Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes
- 1 14-oz can great northern beans, rinsed
- 5 cups homemade turkey or chicken stock
- fresh parsley, to garnish
- fresh basil, to garnish
- freshly grated Parmesan, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a roasting pan, place the turkey parts and roast until cooked through, about an hour. Set aside to cool slightly and shred using a fork, or coarsely chop. Set aside.
- In a stock pot over medium heat, add the bacon. Cook until crispy and the fat has rendered. Drain all but 1 TB of the bacon fat.
- To the remaining fat, add the onion and bell pepper. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, spices, salt and pepper. Cook another 2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, beans and stock. Add the diced/shredded turkey.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until you're ready to eat. Garnish with chopped basil and parsley and serve with shredded or grated cheese
- Don't want to roast the turkey? Use a rotisserie chicken!
Written after a long day, Crawley on my lap.