I have to admit that this recipe sounds a little weird. It was originally published in an October issue of Bon Appetit a few years ago and referred to as “ghoulash”, a play on the word goulash. I ran across it when I was looking for a savory recipe that used canned pumpkin. Since I had everything on hand to make it, I decided to give it a try. First, though, I did a little research on goulash. What I learned is that goulash, the national dish of Hungary, is a meaty soup (or stew) that was traditionally made by herdsmen. It can be made with beef, pork, veal, or lamb, and usually includes vegetables (onions, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, etc.), paprika, other herbs/spices (bay leaf, thyme, caraway, chili pepper) and served over egg noodles.
The pumpkin in this version of goulash doesn’t add any flavor…it really just adds some thickness to the stew. I made a few changes to the recipe that should be noted: I used 2 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (instead of turkey thighs) and cut them into 1″ pieces. I substituted red potatoes for the russets, and added in 3 chopped carrots and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to the simmer stew. At the end of cooking, I seasoned the stew with a little more salt and pepper, and added 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to round out the taste. I served the stew with caraway noodles (I used bow-tie pasta) and garnished with a dollop of sour cream.
Pumpkin-Turkey “Ghoulash” with Caraway Noodles
-recipe from Bon Appétit October 2007
Using turkey makes this take on the Hungarian beef stew lighter. Adjust the heat level by using all hot paprika, all sweet paprika, or a combination. Makes 8 servings
2 large turkey thighs (1 3/4 pounds each), skin removed, meat cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup Hungarian sweet paprika or Hungarian hot paprika (or a mixture of both)
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
2 large russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds total), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 14 1/2-ounce can pure pumpkin
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 large fresh thyme sprig plus 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 1/2 pounds egg noodles
5 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
Place turkey, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in large resealable plastic bag. Seal bag; shake. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Remove turkey from spice mixture (reserve spice mixture in bag). Add turkey to pot; cook 5 minutes. Place onions and potatoes in bag with spice mixture. Seal bag; shake to coat. Add vegetables to pot; cook 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Add broth, pumpkin, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme sprig; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until potatoes begin to fall apart, about 1 hour.
Discard thyme sprig. Stir in 1 tablespoon chopped thyme. Season stew with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and chill. Rewarm stew over medium heat before serving.
Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain noodles; return to pot. Add butter and caraway seeds to noodles. Toss until butter melts. Divide noodles among bowls; top with stew. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons chopped thyme. Serve, passing sour cream alongside.
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