Turkey, Hunter’s-Style, with Saffron Risotto & Parmigiano

1 HR


2 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin

2 lbs TURKEY TENDERLOINS, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces

2 oz TURKEY BACON, chopped

1 Stalk celery, large, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

2 Each carrots, small, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1 tbsp garlic, coarsely chopped

2 tbsp fresh herbs (select one or mix), sage, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, parsley

1 Each bay leaf

1-1/2 c plum tomatoes, canned or fresh, peeled, seeded, chopped

1/2 c dry white wine

4 c TURKEY/chicken broth/stock, plus 1 c stock or water in reserve if needed

2 1-inch pieces orange zest

12 Each pearl onions, small, peeled

4 oz (12-16) cremini or white button mushrooms, fresh

2 tbsp pine nuts

1-2 tbsp dry Marsala

To Taste salt and freshly ground black pepper

Risotto with Saffron

2 tbsp butter, unsalted

1 tbsp yellow onion, minced

1 c Arborio, Vialone Nano, or Carnaroli rice

3 c TURKEY stock, keep warm on the stove

1/4 c dry white wine

1 125-mg.packet powdered saffron, (OR 1 large pinch thread saffron)

1/4 c (1 oz) Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated

To Taste salt

To Taste white pepper, freshly ground

To Taste nutmeg, freshly grated


In a medium-sized casserole, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the turkey for 2 minutes to sear in the juices, then add the turkey bacon and saute for 1 minute. Drain any excess fat. Over medium heat, saute the celery and carrots for 2 minutes, then saute the garlic until fragrant, add the herbs, stir and add the chopped plum tomatoes.

Turn the heat to high and deglaze the pan by pouring in the white wine while scraping the bottom of the pan to release the caramelized juices, which will flavor the sauce. Reduce for a minute until the wine is reduced by 1/4 or until the alcohol fumes have evaporated. Add enough stock to almost cover the ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, add the orange zest, and cook for 1 hour partially covered. (At this point, remove the casserole from the heat, allow to slighty cool, then refrigerate up to 2 days if desired or continue braising as follows.)

Finish braising by adding a little more stock if needed, then add the onions and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms and simmer for another 15 minutes. At this point, the onions and mushrooms should be tender and easily pierced with a fork, yet not mushy; if undercooked, continue to simmer for another 5-10 minutes. There should be about 2 cups of sauce remaining; if not, adjust by adding more stock or water.

Add the pine nuts and 1 tablespoon dry Marsala. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and taste. Adjust flavor by adding up to another tablespoon of Marsala, season to taste, and simmer for a few more minutes before serving with Saffron Risotto.

For Risotto: In a deep medium saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onions over low heat for 2 minutes or until almost translucent. Stir in the rice and coat thoroughly with butter. Continue stirring rice and cooking for 2 minutes or until it loses its raw rice aroma, and the edges of each grain are translucent with a pearly white center. (The rice begins to absorb the butter and onion flavors.)

Over low-medium heat, add 1 cup stock, occasionally stir, and let the rice absorb most of it, by simmering for 5-6 minutes until rice looks moist with only a little visible liquid remaining. To prevent the rice from sticking to the pan, release it from the sides and bottom of the pan using a fork or spoon, level the surface for equal absorption of stock. Do not continually stir the rice at this point or it could become too sticky.

Add wine and saffron and stir to evenly distribute saffron. Allow rice to absorb most of wine, stir occasionally to prevent sticking . Add another cup of stock, stir occasionally and let the rice absorb most of it, about 5-6 minutes. The rice will be expanding at this point but will look dry and will be hard in each grain's center.

Add the remaining stock and continue to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring to develop the sauce until the rice grains swell and are firm but not hard in the center.

Note: The risotto should be "al dente" with a flavorful sauce surrounding each grain of rice. If the risotto is too moist, simmer for a few minutes more; if it is too dry, stir in a little more stock or water to the desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings, then remove from the heat and quickly stir in the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, adjust seasonings. Remember that risotto continues to cook and absorb liquid while being transferred from pan to serving bowls. Therefore, stop cooking when there is a little more liquid than desired, as it will be absorbed before serving.

To serve: Spoon the risotto into a mound, to help maintain heat, into warm serving bowls, ladle Turkey, Hunter's-Style over the risotto and serve immediately. Serves 4 (1/2 cup per serving), double recipe if desired and increase cooking time by 5 minutes.