Slow Cooker “Pizza” Pulled Turkey

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Have you planted your herbs yet? You do plant herbs in the spring, don’t you? Oh, dear. Here I am being bossy, that’s no way to treat you. I’m sorry.

But seriously, one of the best ways to enjoy the warm months is to grow a few culinary herbs and to use them in your cooking. Herb seedlings are my Mother’s Day present every year; I plant them after brunch. This year, my folks were here and Meg drove up from Baltimore. Brian called to say Happy Mother’s Day while I was happily covered in dirt. We’ll be in DC for his graduation this weekend (I plan to shower before then)!

While I was planting, I was thinking about my new slow cooker. That’s me, thinking about cooking pretty much 24/7. Trust me, I’m no less sick of stews and braises than everyone else. I love fresh and vibrant spring cooking; something grilled, salads, abundance bowls, a quick saute’…but they require last minute attention. And in the nice weather, I want to be outside mowing, hiking, running, planting or reading. Right? Which means that the slow cooker has an important place in the spring and summer rotation. Especially for those of us who still don’t have a kitchen. Don’t even ask!

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I developed this dish to showcase my new herbs and to allow me to cook while I am tending them. It is made with turkey thighs, a family favorite. If you’ve never cooked turkey thighs, I encourage you to try them. They take very well to long, slow cooking; the finished dish is meaty, succulent, and full of flavor.

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Slow Cooker “Pizza” Pulled Turkey

Serves 2-4

Paleo folks: you may skip the cheese entirely or use your favorite substitute.

2 turkey thighs, skin removed
½ cabbage (savoy is nice, but any cabbage is fine), sliced
28 oz can crushed tomatoes (Muir Glen preferable)
1 piece of parm rind*
handful fresh herbs, minced**
pinch crushed red pepper
salt to taste
garnishes: grated mozzarella, parm, minced fresh herbs or salad greens

*I save them and keep them in the freezer. If you don’t have one, ask at the market…
**I used basil, thyme, tarragon and chives. Oregano and rosemary would be nice. If you don’t have fresh, dried thyme, oregano or fennel seeds would be nice.

Put all ingredients except garnishes in the slow cooker insert. Cook on high for 3-4 hours. Pull the meat off the bones with 2 forks. Discard the bones and parm rind (I munch the rind, shhhh).

You may serve this over pasta, rice, polenta, flatbread, cooked greens, raw greens and/or beans. I like to top with some grated mozzarella and run under the broiler for a “pizza” effect. Garnish with your favorite minced herbs.

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Ummm….before you go plant and cook, I wonder if I might ask a quick favor? Would you vote for my recipe in the Feedfeed/Goop Pantry Month Contest? I’m a finalist and I think it would be fun to win a pantry contest even though I don’t have a pantry. Here’s the link: http://www.thefeedfeed.com/pantrycontest-voting

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