Cookbook Profile

Picadillo de Pavo
Ground-Turkey Stew
with Raisins, Green Olives, and Capers

Serves 8

The turkey we know today is native to the New World, but its proliferation in our cuisine comes courtesy of the Spaniards, who turned out to be adept at domesticating the wild birds. Picadillo is a dish you will find in every humble Cuban café and in homes as well, but it is traditionally made with ground beef. I serve it with black beans and white rice. Prepare the picadillo while the beans and rice cook.


For The Picadillo

1/4 cup pure olive oil
1-1/4 pounds ground turkey (breast and leg meat mixed)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup Spanish dry sherry
1/2 cup small capers, well rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup raisins or currants, roughly chopped
5 tablespoons lightly rinsed and roughly chopped green olives
3/4 cup sliced scallions (green and white parts)

1 recipe Black Beans (page 202 of book), for serving
     1 recipe Basic White Rice (page 196 of book), for serving


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Put the turkey in the skillet and cook, separating the clumps of meat with a spoon or spatula, until crumbly and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the turkey and any juices to a bowl. Reserve.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the butter to the skillet and heat until hot. Add the garlic, onion, and bell peppers, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the turkey, tomato, tomato paste, red wine, sherry, capers, raisins, olives, and scallions. Lower the heat to medium-low, season to taste, and cook for about 15 minutes until the flavors marry. Remove from the heat.

Spoon the rice into serving bowls, and top with the black beans. Top with the picadillo and serve.

Recommended Wine: A medium-bodied Pinot Noir from Carneros or a Bourgogne Rouge from Burgundy would be seductive with the food's acidity and would sharpen the sweetness of the peppers.


Buy the Book!


New World Kitchen
Latin American and Caribbean Cuisine
by Norman Van Aken
Hardcover, 336 pages
$34.95; $53.95 (CAN)
ISBN: 0060185058
Recipe reprinted by permission.


New World Kitchen



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This page created October 2003