Leftover turkey is the bane of every Thanksgiving chef. Sure, it’s great at first. Leftover turkey sandwiches and leftover turkey soup are great. But after 3 days you’ve eaten all the sandwiches and soup you can hold and you still have turkey. So you get desperate. Leftover turkey omelettes, leftover turkey casserole, a gallon zip-lock bag of leftover turkey stuffed into the freezer in the hope that you’ll figure out something to do with it before Christmas adds to your leftovers problem.
This year I broke that cycle by trying something completely different – leftover turkey Kaeng Phed Ped Yang. That’s right. Leftover turkey in Thai red curry.
In my Thanksgiving Countdown I wrote about Miranti Borvornsin , the Thai-born High Heel Gourmet, and her first Thanksgiving. She came away from the meal thinking Thanksgiving was a time when Americans ate a “horrible-tasting bird” to remind themselves of how tough the pioneer days were.
She posted this recipe for Authentic Thai Roast Duck Red Curry, substituting turkey for the duck just to show use that you can make turkey taste good. I’d recently taken my first Thai cooking class at LivingSocial in DC. The recipes chef Robyn Webb taught us were very similar to Miranti’s curry, so I decided to give it a try.
It’s good. Really good.
If you like Thai, you really should visit Miranti’s blog. For one thing, her photography puts mine to shame. I’m pretty sure she isn’t just snapping pictures with her phone like I do. More importantly, she has lots of great advice about authentic Thai techniques, what the more exotic ingredients are and where to find them.
Recipe – Serves 4 – 6
2 cups roast duck, turkey or chicken, skin on, cut into 1″ cubes
2 cups cherry tomatoes
2 cups pineapple, cut into 1″ cubes
1 handful fresh Thai basil leaves
4 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
2 TBS Thai red curry paste
4 TBS fish sauce
4 TBS sugar, preferably palm sugar
1 tsp salt
Pour 1/4 cup coconut milk into a medium sauce pan and heat over medium stirring constantly.
When coconut milk begins to bubble, add red curry paste. Stir constantly until the milk begins to release coconut oil. You’ll see little drops of the oil separating from the milk.
Add meat, tomatoes, pineapple, the rest of coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar and water. Bring to a boil of medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes start to burst and blend into the curry.
Remove from heat. Add basil leaves.
Serve with steamed rice.