We’ve never met Karen, but she is a friend of my aunt and uncle, by way of Albuquerque. Â And we’ve always heard really good things about this easy and delicious stew recipe she made up using ground turkey, chicken breasts, green chili salsa and white beans. Â My aunt and uncle made it for my parents, who liked it so much that they make their own version all the time (omitting the chicken breasts for more of a chili texture than stew.) Â My parents have raved about this dish often enough that we finally had to try it for ourselves, and it will become a regular in our recipe rotation as well. Â This chili / stew is healthy comfort food that is also light enough to serve during the heat of summer (especially garnished with fresh avocado and a squeeze of lime) and could not be much easier to make. Â We adapted the recipe a bit (of course we did), but will continue to foster the shout-out to the Karen who created the original recipe by continuing to call it “Karen’s Stew,” Â even though our version is a little different and is really more of a chili than a stew. Â It’s the right thing to do.
We like using sauteed onion as the base for lots of different simmer-in-a-pot kinds of dishes — from chili to tacos to soup. Â Heat a tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil over medium-high heat and cook the chopped onion until it softens — about 6-8 minutes.
(My onion cooked a little long — note the browned pieces — but that didn’t seem to affect the finished dish at all. Â Add minced garlic and a bit of cumin and coriander (spices we like together and always have on hand) and cook until fragrant — about 30 seconds.
Add the ground turkey and cook until no longer pink — about 5-7 minutes. Â Break up the turkey into tiny pieces while it cooks.
Add chicken stock, a jar of pre-made green chile salsa and a can of Great Northern white beans (undrained) and simmer, uncovered, over low heat for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. Â You can use whatever kind of green chile salsa you like (Arriba makes a good one) and however spicy you like it. Â Since we made this dish during Hatch chile season, we used a jar of Hatch green chile salsa that we picked up at our local Central Market. Â You could probably just use green chiles, but the salsa will give more layers of flavor to the finished stew.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Â Serve the stew garnished with chopped cilantro and green onion tops, sliced avocado and maybe a few jalapeno slices for an extra kick. Â Perhaps a dollup of sour cream if you’re feeling the need for a little tang. Â Grated monterey jack cheese and a slice or two of crusty bread would also be good with this dish. Â So many possibilities. Â I wonder if Albuquerque Karen would be pleased to know she has a delicious (and easy and versatile)Â
chili stew named after her?
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- Â¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- Â¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 (16 oz.) jar green chili salsa
- 1 (16 oz.) can Great Northern beans (undrained)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- garnishes (cilantro, green onion, avocado, jack cheese, sour cream, etc.)
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat, add the onion and a dash of salt and cook until the onion softens — about 6-8 minutes. Â Add the garlic, cumin and coriander and cook until fragrant — about 30 seconds.
- Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking the turkey up into tiny pieces, until no longer pink — about 5-7 minutes. Â Add the salsa, beans and chicken stock and simmer, uncovered, for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. Â Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with garnishes of choice and serve.