Wilderness Cuisine
by Carole Latimer
$13.95, Paperback
Wilderness Press

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Anasazi Stew

A spicy turkey stew in the spirit of the ancient Anasazi people. Many of the ingredients—such as turkey, chiles, corn, and squash—were available to early inhabitants of the Southwest. Home prep is a bit complicated, and you may have to shop in a Hispanic market for some ingredients. But the payoff is a simple reheating in camp for a hearty meal with authentic Southwest flavors.

Makes: 8 servings

2 pasilla chiles and 2 ancho chiles, seeded and cut in half-inch strips
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely minced
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup masa harina (Mexican corn flour)
3 pounds turkey legs and thighs cut in 2-inch pieces, across the bone*
12 ounces chorizo (Mexican spicy sausage)
2 tablespoons ancho or other mild chile powder 1 cup minced onion
1/3 cup minced shallots
1 or 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 can (14 ounces) plum tomatoes
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips
2 tablespoons or more of canned chipotle in adobo sauce, pureed
2 ears corn on the cob, 1 sliced whole in 1-inch pieces, and kernels cut from other
8 ounces butternut squash, cut in 1/2-inch chunks
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 small white potato, cut in wedges
1 small sweet potato, cut in half-inch coins
Salt to taste
Garnish: 1/4 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and cilantro sprigs

*Important: Insist that your butcher use a meat saw when cutting up the turkey; cleavers produce sharp and dangerous bone splinters

At Home:

1. In a 12-inch Dutch oven or other large stew pot, sauté chiles and jalapenos in olive oil for five to six minutes over medium-high heat, until brown and blistered. Set aside.

2. Dredge the turkey heavily in masa harina and a little salt. Put more oil in Dutch oven and brown turkey. Turn off heat and add half the chiles.

3. In a non-stick pan sauté chorizo, ancho or chile powder, onion, and shallots for five minutes. Add garlic and sauté a few more minutes.

4. Add saute mixture to Dutch oven along with chicken broth, canned and dried tomatoes, pureed chipotle, and two or three pieces of each of the vegetables. Bring almost to a boil, then simmer for at least two hours, until turkey is tender but not falling off the bone. For last 20 minutes of cooking, add rest of vegetables and simmer until almost, but not quite, cooked through. Adjust seasoning, adding a bit more salt if necessary, then add more chipotle to taste.

5. Let stew cool. Divide into freezer bags and double-bag each. Freeze.

In Camp:

1. Keep stew in cooler.

2. Thaw before cooking. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes; garnish with cilantro and pepitas and serve with rice, corn tortillas, and salsas of your choice.

© Copyright 2002 by Carole Latimer

The soul blossoms when you leave behind the expectations of everyday life, and meet the challenge of the outdoors with the support and enthusiasm of others.