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norman van aken's tips | turkey picadillo

Norman Van Aken

Executive Chef/Owner, Norman's
Coral Gables, FL

Turkey Stuffing "Havana"
Adapted from Norman Van Aken

Yield: 3 quarts


3/4 cup sour orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 bay leaves, broken
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon cumin
2 pounds turkey necks, rinsed and patted dry

Combine all the marinade ingredients together. Put the necks in a Ziploc bag and pour on the marinade.
Close the bag tightly and put in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Put the necks on a parchment-lined sheet pan seasoned with salt and pepper. Roast at 350°F for
1 1/2-2 hours (until the meat can easily be pulled off the bones). Let cool slightly then pull all the meat into bite sized pieces.


8 slices whole wheat bread, toasted and broken into bite sized pieces
3 Tablespoons roasted garlic oil
2 Tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups yellow onions, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 1/4 cups celery stalks, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup unsalted slivered almonds, toasted
1 cup unsalted pistachios, shelled
1/2 cup fresh sage, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
3/4 cup turkey or chicken stock, or enough to soften the stuffing without making it soggy
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large non-stick pan, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the carrots, onions and celery. Season with salt and pepper.
Toss to coat and let caramelize, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Put the bread in a large bowl. Add the caramelized vegetables, nuts, herbs and turkey meat.
Take 1/4 cup of the stock and drizzle it over the dressing and toss. Do this 3 or 4 times until the dressing is moist.
Don¹t use too much stock or it will become too dense. The dressing will also absorb the juices of the turkey as it cooks.

If you decide to cook it outside of the bird in a casserole: Rub a 3-quart casserole dish with roasted garlic oil.

Put the stuffing into it and cover with foil. Place in a preheated 350°F oven for 30-40 minutes. Remove.

Note: You will need to use a little more stock in a casserole since the natural juices of the roasting bird plus
the moist atmosphere of the bird's cavity would supply this in a stuffed bird method.

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