Is it a stew or is it a soup? No, I’m not sure either! I used frozen turkey stock but chicken stock would be just as good.
If you’re not sure how to make fresh stock….. save the carcass from your Sunday roast chicken. If it’s a small chicken, or if you want to make a particularly tasty stock, freeze a couple of carcasses and get them out when you are ready to cook. Break the carcass(es) up into as small pieces as you can manage and place in a large pot with plenty of water, an onion, a couple of carrots, some thyme, some rosemary and a bayleaf. Bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour before straining through a large sieve. The same principle applies if you are using a turkey carcass but you would only need 1 carcass, or even just half a one, depending on the size of the bird and the volume of your pot.
Optional step – if there was a lot of meat left on the carcass, you may now wish to get stuck in and carefully separate as much of it as you can from the boiled bones. The ‘good’ meat can be added to the strained stock, along with any vegetable pieces or small bits of rosemary or thyme that you are able to separate. A little tip, though – you do have to use your hands, as utensils will not enable you to feel the small pieces of bone and separate them out. And please, give it a few minutes to cool after straining or else it’ll be too hot to sort through!
To the stock, add:
a 300g -500g pack of turkey or chicken mince. This doesn’t have to be ‘good’ stuff, reduced price or thigh meat or similar is fine.
about 3 tablespoons dried pearl barley
2 – 3 handfuls of mixed frozen veg as desired (I used green beans and sweetcorn)
some shredded green leafy veg – things like cabbage, kale, broccoli or swiss chard would all work – use as much as you like
potatoes & carrots, chopped into small chunks – enough to finish filling your pot. You could replace these with sweet potato, turnip, swede or other root veg if you prefer.
a pinch of salt & pepper
if you weren’t able to take any from your stock pan, you can also add a pinch of dried rosemary and thyme, or a small sprig of fresh rosemary and thyme.
Top up with enough water to ensure that it can simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours on the hob or sit for 3 – 4 hours in a slow cooker without drying out.
When cooked, you may, if desired (and if you’ve got space!) add dumplings. To make 4 to 6 dumplings, use approximately 2 tablespoons of shredded suet, 3 to 4 tablespoons of self-raising flour and a pinch of salt. Bind with water until the mixture holds together, then form into balls. You may have to stir a little more water into your pot to ensure the balls can float and get covered by the gravy. Add to the pot and cook for a further 20 minutes before serving.