Turkey Picadillo is my way of being able to eat this amazing dish without eating meat. I actually make it for my vegetarian son and his girlfriend and I replace the turkey with Gardein Beefless Ground and the flavors are so good, you have no idea!
Picadillo is also that meal for me that I probably would not order in a restaurant, but no self-respecting claimed Cuban should ever say they don’t have a recipe for Picadillo (no matter the protein you choose). So if you do not have a recipe, you can use this one or you can use my original Picadillo recipe. Either way, I hope you thank me ; ).
So the trick to my Picadillo or any meal I make is my mise en place. This means everything in its place. Why is that important? Well, for one, it helps with the stress of timing all the ingredients. It’s also important to chop the veggies so they match what you are cooking. In this recipe, I am chopping my veggies with a small dice, since the ground turkey is small. This will ensure that all the food is proportioned, cooks evenly and you don’t get some random large piece of vegetable that seems out of place (LOL).
Once you have the ingredients ready, then you want to get ready to cook. Place your medium size saute pan on medium-high heat and when ready, add the olive oil and then the onion, green and red peppers and saute for about 5 minutes. You will know because the onions will start turning translucent. At this point, you want to add the garlic and cook that for about 1 more minute. That is one of my favorite smells!
Now it’s time to add the turkey. Make sure to break it up and mix all the veggies into the turkey so it looks evenly coated. Once the turkey is browned, add the spices, salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder, cumin, turmeric, and smoked paprika. I think turmeric and the smokiness of the paprika add a unique flavor to the dish.
Now it’s time to add the tomato paste and/or tomato sauce. I say and/or because they have the same flavor just provide a different consistency. The sauce will make it a little more liquidy and the paste will leave it a little thicker. Once you mix it well and all the turkey is coated, then add the bay leaves lower the heat to simmer and cover. Leave cooking for about 25-30 minutes. Most people add olives to their picadillo, if you are one of them, add them before you cover the dish.
You can serve it with rice & black beans, pasta and you can even add an egg to the rice, like the photo above. An egg on top means montado a caballo (mounted on a horse). I would not even know where to start explaining that one (LOL). No matter how you eat it, I think you will like it.
Please leave a comment and/or share it with someone you think will benefit from this recipe. ENJOY!