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Hunter's Stew

Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro; Food Styling: Jill Melton
Yield 12 servings (serving size: about 2 cups stew, 1 poultry piece, 2 to 3 sausage pieces, and about 2 tablespoons crisp croutons)
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.

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 2 cups Crisp Croutons
  • Fresh parsley sprigs (optional)

Nutrition 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

How to Make It

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Totals include Crisp Croutons