Turkey Stew with Prunes and Pearl Onions

Food & Wine


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1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 turkey drumsticks (about 14 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
4 thyme sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs
3 cups turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup pitted prunes (6 ounces)
1/2 cup brandy
1 cup white pearl onions (1/4 pound)


1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Add 2 of the turkey drumsticks to the casserole, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 8 minutes; transfer to a plate. Reduce the heat to moderate and repeat with the remaining 2 drumsticks and salt and pepper. Discard the fat.

2. Add the wine to the casserole and cook, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom, until it has reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Tie the thyme and rosemary into a bundle and add to the casserole along with the drumsticks and stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and braise in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, turning the drumsticks occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, soak the prunes in the brandy until plump, about 30 minutes. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the pearl onions and blanch for 2 minutes, then drain and let cool slightly. Trim the root ends of the onions and slip off the skins. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a small skillet. Add the pearl onions and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the onions, prunes and any remaining brandy to the casserole. Cover and braise for 1 hour longer, or until the turkey drumsticks are tender.

5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the turkey, prunes and pearl onions to a platter. Discard the herb bundle. Skim the fat off the cooking liquid, then simmer the liquid over moderate heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 30 minutes. Return the turkey, prunes and onions to the casserole, simmer until hot and serve. Discard the turkey skin before eating.

Make Ahead: The stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Serve With: Boiled noodles, steamed rice or boiled potatoes.

Wine Recommendation: A berry-flavored Zinfandel has the right amount of fruitiness and sweetness to complement the rich fruit-based sauce here. Pick a lighter example that won't overwhelm the turkey, such as the 2000 Quivira Dry Creek Valley or the 2000 Foppiano Dry Creek Valley.

Notes: One Serving: 503 calories, 9.0 gm total fat, 2.1 gm saturated fat, 34 gm carb.

Created date

June 2004