How to Thicken Turkey Stew

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Thickening turkey stew only requires a little bit of your time and is actually quite easy. Thicken turkey stew with help from a chef instructor and executive pastry chef in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Preparing Stews: Tips & Tricks
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Video Transcript

Good morning. I'm chef Tony Hedger from L'Ecole Culinaire in St. Louis, Missouri. Today, we're going to be talking about how to thicken a turkey or a chicken stew. There's a quick way and there's a slow way. The slow way being a roux. Everybody knows about rouxs. Rouxs are equal parts butter and flour. OK. You melt the butter which is the fat, put a little bit of flour in and you make the roux. You can take it all the way from a white roux, all the way to a dark roux. Everybody knows that. We can go all the way from white soups with a roux to a gumbo. The quick ways are arrowroot. Arrowroot is a perennial plant that grows in tropical locations. The root is freeze dried, the scales are taken off the outside of the root and the root is pulverized. The thing about, the difference between these two is that arrowroot doesn't need to be at a full boil to activate. OK. Corn starch is a lot of different acids that are put together that does require the liquid to be at a full boil before it will activate. But you have to be careful of how much you add. OK. So today I'm going to go ahead and use corn starch. Now corn starch is going to kind of give it a little bit of a translucent appearance rather than an opaque appearance. We're going to go ahead and put about an ounce and a half of corn starch in there. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to hit this with a little bit of ice cold water. OK. I'm going to hit it in there just until it basically covers the corn starch. And then we're going to make sure that all the corn starch is added into the water. This is actually what you would call a slurry. There's other thickening measures that you could, we could talk about but we don't have time for that. OK. So today we're using a slurry. And you'll see exactly what it looks like, almost like a non fat milk. OK. When we add it in, what I've done is I've brought my stew up to a boil and what I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and drizzle that in there and I'm going to whisk while I do that. OK. While I'm whisking I'm getting, make sure that this thing is fully covered. Since I had my stew at a boil, it's already thickened. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to add a little water to loosen it up. If that happens to you, and it's not always the case that we always get the correct amount, but we can adjust it here. But do so before it's too late. Don't let it burn on you. Now once it thickens, the main thing that you want to do is either turn it off or turn it down so that the corn starch doesn't burn. OK. Ah, perfect consistency. Give it a taste. The only thing that I don't like about corn starch is that sometimes you may get a chemical taste to it, which you don't get as far as roux goes or arrowroot. Adjust the seasoning and you got a great turkey stew. I'm chef Tony Hedger from L'Ecole Culinaire in St. Louis. Thank you.


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