Turkey and Fall Vegetables in a Saffron Broth

Moroccan spices warm up leftover turkey in this turkey-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 turkey braise recipe is easily doubled.–Jennifer McLagan

Turkey and Fall Vegetables in a Saffron Broth Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 1 H, 10 M
  • Serves 4


  • 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, homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • 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-by-3/4-inch sticks
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-by-3/4-inch sticks
  • 1 cup peeled, diced butternut squash (1-inch dice)
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1 1/2-by-3/4-inch sticks
  • 8 ounces plum tomatoes (about 2 large), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch dice
  • One 15-ounce 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 (1 1/4 cups) couscous
  • Sambal oelek (Indonesian chile paste) or hot sauce


  • 1. 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.
  • 2. 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.)
  • 3. When the vegetables are tender, stir in the chickpeas, 1/2 teaspoon of 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.
  • 4. Meanwhile, make the couscous. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 1 3/4 cups of 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 of butter into small pieces and scatter them over the couscous. Cover and let sit for 3 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  • 5. To serve, mound a large spoonful of the couscous into a shallow soup bowl and ladle the turkey, vegetables and saffron broth over it. Serve with the sambal oelek on the side.
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