Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Beggar's Chowder - A Crock-Pot Recipe
Who said beggars can't be choosers? This plain Jane recipe won the last Rival Crocktober competition - my first big win. As a matter of fact, it's my only big win. Despite that, I've kept my sense of humor and a sure belief that lightening can strike twice, if you're willing to fly kites and stand under tall trees in thunderstorms. I do dumb stuff like that. I've made this recipe, in one form or another, for decades. It first simmered on a two burner stove in the basement apartment that was our first home. In those days the chowder was made with turkey necks and truly was a beggar's chowder. It stayed in my recipe rotation as we moved uptown and ended up in the kitchen of the Institute for Culinary Education where it was judged best of show. If you're always on the lookout for crock-pot recipes, give this one a try. It will not disappoint.
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
4 skinless, bone-in turkey thighs, trimmed of visible fat
2 (14.75-ounce) cans creamed style sweet corn
1 (10.5-ounce) can condensed chicken broth, undiluted
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
1 pound cleaned, stemmed white mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup cilantro or parsley
Salt and pepper
1) Combine butter, flour, garlic salt, pepper, thyme and paprika in a small (1 quart) mixing bowl. Using the back of a wooden spoon, work the mixture to form a smooth paste. Rub the paste into all sides of the turkey thighs.
2) Spray the stoneware insert of a 5 1/2 - 6 quart slow cooker with a nonstick cooking spray. Place peppers and onions in stoneware. Toss with 1 tablespoon oil and microwave, covered, on HIGH power for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Put the turkey thighs in the bottom of the stoneware; cover with the the creamed corn and the undiluted chicken broth. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or until the turkey is fork tender.
3) Remove the turkey thighs from the pot and set aside until cool enough to handle. While the turkey cools add the mushrooms and diced tomatoes to the liquid in the stoneware; cover the pot and continue to cook for 1/2 hour more.
4) While the mushrooms are cooking, remove the turkey meat from the bones in bite size pieces.
5) When the mushrooms are tender, return the turkey to the chowder; add the heavy cream and the cilantro or parsley and cook, covered, until heated through, about 15 minutes more. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Yield: 8 servings.