Turkey & Fall Vegetables in a Saffron-Scented Broth with Couscous

Moroccan spices warm up leftover turkey in this vegetable braise. Couscous is traditionally served with harissa, a chile sauce. Instead, I use the Indonesian chile paste sambal oelek, which is a good substitute and available in Asian markets, or you can substitute a few shakes of a hot sauce such as Tabasco. This recipe is easily doubled.

Turkey & Fall Vegetables in a Saffron-Scented Broth with Couscous
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Dinner, Thanksgiving, Turkey, Vegetables
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  • Generous pinch saffron threads
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3-inch long cinnamon stick
  • 1 fresh hot red chile (like a serrano), cored, seeded, and quartered
  • 3 cups Turkey Stock
  • 1 medium red onion, root end left intact, cut into wedges about 3/4 inch thick at the widest side
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-1/2 x3/4-inch sticks
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-1/2 x3/4-inch sticks
  • 1 cup peeled, diced butternut squash (1-inch dice)
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1-1/2x3/4-inch sticks
  • 8 ounces plum tomatoes (about 2 large), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 15 ounces can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups diced cooked turkey (1/2-inch dice)
  • 1/4 cup golden seedless raisins
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces couscous (1-1/4 cups)
  • Sambal oelek (Indonesian chile paste) or hot sauce
Turkey Stock
  • 1 1/2- 2 pounds turkey parts, such as backs, wings, or legs
  • 1 large onion (about 12 ounces), coarsely chopped
  • 4 large stalks celery (about 9 ounces), coarsely chopped
  • 2 small carrots (about 4 ounces), coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 6 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • Half a small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley (about 1 ounce)
  • Half a small bunch fresh sage (about 1/2 ounce)
  • Half a small bunch fresh thyme (about 1/3 ounce)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
In a dry, small Dutch oven over medium heat, toast the saffron for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in the turmeric, cinnamon stick, chile, and stock; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, parsnips, and squash; continue simmering, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini and tomatoes, cover, and simmer until all the vegetables are just tender, about another 5 minutes (you may need to raise the heat to return the broth to a simmer). When the vegetables are tender, stir in the chickpeas, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the turkey, raisins, and cilantro. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit covered until the last ingredients you added have been heated through, about 5 minutes. Adjust the seasonings if needed.
Meanwhile, make the couscous. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 1-3/4 cups water to a boil, along with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Stir in the couscous, cover tightly, remove from the heat, and let sit for 5 minutes. Cut the remaining 1 tablespoon butter into small pieces and scatter them over the couscous. Cover and let sit for 3 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
To serve, mound a large spoonful of the couscous into a shallow soup bowl and ladle the turkey, vegetables and broth over it. Serve with the sambal oelek on the side.
Keep the vegetables chunky and about the same size so they'll be done at the same time.
Turkey Stock:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the turkey parts in a small roasting pan (approximately 9x13 inches) along with the onion, celery, and carrots and roast until the meat is well browned, 1 to 1-1/4 hours. Transfer the turkey parts and vegetables to a 4-quarts saucepan.
Add the wine to the roasting pan and scrape any browned bits with a wooden spoon to release them into the wine. Pour the wine into the saucepan and add the chicken broth, herbs, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium low or low, and simmer gently until the meat is falling off the bone, 30 to 40 minutes, skimming occasionally to remove the fat and foam that rise to the top. Strain the broth through a fine sieve, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. Remove any solidified fat before using.
Make Ahead:
The turkey broth can be made up to 4 days ahead and refrigerated or up to 2 months ahead and frozen.
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