Hunter's Stew

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Hunter's StewRecipe
Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro; Food Styling: Jill Melton
An avid hunter, this reader devised this stew to showcase his catch which is usually duck. We found a combination of chicken and supermarket duck a fine substitute, or use all chicken. Make this a day ahead to allow the flavors to blossom and so you can skim the fat from the top. Use reserved Crisp Croutons to top the stew.
12 servings (serving size: about 2 cups stew, 1 poultry piece, 2 to 3 sausage pieces, and about 2 tablespoons crisp croutons)


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1 pound dried cranberry, Great Northern, or navy beans
11 cups water, divided
2 1/2 cups (1-inch) chopped peeled rutabaga or turnip
3 cups (1-inch) cubed red or Yukon gold potato
3 cups quartered cremini or button mushrooms (about 1/2 pound)
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1 (5 3/4- to 6 1/4-pound) dressed domestic duck, fresh or thawed
2 chicken drumsticks (about 3/4 pound)
2 chicken thighs (about 3/4 pound)
9 ounces sweet turkey Italian sausage or smoked turkey and duck sausages (such as Gerhard's)
3 cups Cabernet or other dry red wine, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried summer savory
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 (14 1/4-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
Fresh parsley sprigs (optional)


Sort and wash beans, and place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans, and bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain the beans, and place beans in pan. Add 8 cups water; bring to a boil. Cover and cook 1 hour or until just slightly firm. Drain and set aside.

Place 3 cups water in a large stockpot; bring to a boil. Add rutabaga, and cook 5 minutes. Add the potato, mushrooms, onion, carrot, and celery, and return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until crisp-tender. Set aside (do not drain).

Remove and discard giblets and neck from duck. Rinse duck with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Cut duck into 8 pieces. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add duck pieces; sauté 5 minutes on each side or until well browned. Remove from pan. Add chicken pieces; sauté 5 minutes on each side or until well browned. Remove from pan. Add sausage; sauté 10 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan, and let cool. Slice sausage into 18 (1-inch) pieces.

Carefully add 1/4 cup wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits, and add pan drippings to stockpot with vegetables. Add the beans, duck, chicken, sausage, 2 3/4 cups wine, chopped parsley, vinegar, savory, thyme, salt, pepper, and broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Cover stew, and chill 8 to 24 hours.

Skim solidified fat from surface; discard. Reheat over medium heat; stirring often to prevent scorching. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Sprinkle stew with Crisp Croutons, and garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.

Totals include Crisp Croutons

Created date

November 2003

Nutritional Information

Calories 548
Caloriesfromfat 27 %
Fat 16.1 g
Satfat 5.6 g
Monofat 4 g
Polyfat 3 g
Protein 55 g
Carbohydrate 41 g
Fiber 12 g
Cholesterol 195 mg
Iron 8 mg
Sodium 659 mg
Calcium 128 mg