Friday, May 21, 2010

Turkey Curry with Condiments

Even though I'm getting quite used to coconut in my sweets, curry is a coconut-free zone. I'll take an Indian curry over a Thai curry any day. This is my favorite recipe for curry, from Michael Field's Culinary Classics and Improvisations; (subtitle: "creative leftovers made from main-course masterpieces") If you ever come across a copy of this 1967 cookbook, buy it! Field was a classically-trained French cook, and his recipes are detailed, creative, culturally wide-ranging, a tiny bit involved, but always well worth the effort. When I have any kind of leftover meat or poultry, this is the first cookbook I consult.

I've been making this for many years, and it's a lovely curry.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- The recipe is below at the end of this post.

- Instead of curry powder, sometimes I use and equal amount of Patak's Curry Paste (it comes in hot or mild. I love the hot!). This time I used homemade curry powder - from a recipe in Thomas Keller's cookbook Ad Hoc at Home.

- Although the recipe's directions call for straining the sauce, I usually don't strain. I hate to throw away any of the good vegetables! This time the apple I added was quite firm - the type that holds its shape as it cooks rather than gets soft, so I used an immersion blender to smooth the sauce.

the recipe:

Turkey Curry with Condiments

from Michael Field's Culinary Classics and Improvisations; (creative leftovers made from main-course masterpieces)

2 T butter
1 c onion, finely chopped
1/2 c celery, finely chopped
1 small tart apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1/2 tsp garlic, finely chopped
2 T flour
3 T curry powder (I've also used curry paste)
1 tsp tomato paste (I keep this in the freezer)
2 c turkey or chicken stock
1/2 c (or less) heavy cream (I've used yogurt, too)
1 tsp lime juice
2-3 cups cold cooked turkey (or chicken) cut into 2 inch dice
boiled rice


currants or raisins soaked in cognac or sherry
coconut, fresh or canned, shredded
scallions, thinly sliced
bacon, crisp and crumbled
avocados, sliced and sprinkled with lemon or lime juice
almonds, toasted and slivered
hard-cooked eggs, sieved
Bombay duck, heated and crumbled (this is some sort of dried fish)
pappadums, deep-fried or pan fried in butter

1. In large frying pan, melt the butter. Stir in the chopped onions and celery and saute slowly. When the vegetables are soft but not brown, mix in the chopped apple and garlic and continue to cook until the apple is soft enough to be mashed with the back of a spoon. Remove the pan from the heat.

2. In a small bowl combine the flour and the fresh curry powder. Add this to the mixture in the frying pan, stir in the tomato paste, and mash it into as smooth a paste as possible. Stirring constantly, cook over low heat for about 3 minutes.

3. Now, little by little, pour in the 2 cups of turkey or chicken stock, beating slowly with a whisk, then add the cream.

4. Over moderate heat bring the sauce to a boil, still stirring. When it is quite thick and smooth, lower the heat to barely simmering and cook for about 20 minutes with the pan partially covered.

5. Then strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a small casserole, pressing down on the vegetables with the back of a large spoon to extract all their juices before throwing them away.

6. Stir in the lime juice and salt to taste; if at this point the sauce seems too thick, thin it with a little more cream or stock. Now you need only heat the cooked turkey in this, but be careful that the sauce doesn't boil or the turkey may toughen or shred.

7. Serve with plain boiled rice and any or all of the condiments.


Eliana said...

Looks delicious.

Audrey said...

Am I right that this would be a good recipe for a curry novice? (I think I'd go with the mild, though...) I've made chicken with one of the Patak sauces and it was very good. I'm going to look for this book, too. I would love to be more creative with my leftovers!

natalia said...

Ciao Nancy ! What a wonderful Curry ! I love much more coconut in curries than in sweets and certainly will never buy the sweetened one ! Your book sound really great !

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Looks more than delicious!!!

Kayte said...

I have to get more into this Indian curry stuff, we love it, and I just don't venture forth. I'm doing Greek all summer, so maybe I will hit this when fall/winter rolls around. It sounds good, looks good, and I read it all so I think I could do it. Bookmarked. Thank you. Love that bowl!

Leslie said...

What a yummy curry! I love recipes that I can hide leftovers in! I'll have to see if my library has this book.

Barbara said...

What a marvelous and creative way to use leftover turkey, Nancy! It looks divine.