Exotic Leftover Turkey

THE NEW COMFORT FOOD
The Christmas Turkey brings to life family gatherings. Such a warm and loving atmosphere of uncles, aunts and good friends. The turkey was enthusiastically embraced as a Christmas tradition and it was considered an “exotic bird”, especially by the upper crust in England during the 16th century. In 1950 turkeys became affordable for the middle class. By making a Thai turkey dish from leftovers may also be considered exotic – for now.
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LET’S EAT…SIMPLE.

leftover_turkey

Turkey Leftovers

I make my leftover Thai turkey every year now. First, I make sure I buy a large enough turkey so I can get about a pound (.46 kilos) of leftover, tasty turkey meat. I have two great meals from one turkey every year. Too tired to cook? Freeze leftover turkey and make this delicious, nutritious meal another day! Make it once and you will enjoy the tantalizing flavours with rich creamy coconut milk. Your family will love it!
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img_4370INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
2 medium carrots, trimmed and shredded
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons easy home-made  or jarred Thai Red Curry Paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons palm sugar or light brown sugar
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 pound left over turkey, cubed or strips
3 tablespoons chopped Thai basil leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Cooked jasmine rice, accompaniment
Sprigs fresh cilantro, garnish
INSTRUCTIONS
1. In a large wok or saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
2. Add to the pan shallots, saute a few minutes
3. Add to the pan garlic and saute a few more minutes.
4. Add to the pan shallots, bell peppers, and carrots.

Easy Sliced Red Peppers

Easy Sliced Red Peppers

5. Stir-fry until soft (2 to 3 minutes).
6. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant (30 seconds to 1 minute).
7. Stirring, add the fish sauce and sugar, then add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
8. Simmer until thickened slightly (about 2 minutes).
9. Add the turkey, stirring  (about 5 minutes).
10. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and cilantro.
Serve over jasmine rice, garnished with cilantro sprigs.
Optional: Add more greens such as leftover peas, spinach, bok choy, celery or kale.

Red Thai Curry Chicken with Jasmine Rice

Red Thai Curry Turkey with Jasmine Rice

In Thailand, POPULAR dishes using red curry paste cooked in coconut milk and are added to meat such as chicken, beef, pork, duck or shrimp are fabulous.

ALTERNATIVE COOKING METHOD
If you are using raw chicken or turkey, you can use a Pressure Cooker to prepare your Thai Red Curry in about 30 minutes
didyouknow
DID YOU KNOW?  Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein and selenium and a good source of vitamin B6.  Selenium is involved in thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, immune function and DNA repair.  Turkey is also rich in vitamin B3, which helps to control insulin and blood sugar.

HAT2FOOD TIPS: If you don’t have fish sauce handy you can use anchovies. My mum always had fish paste in the frig. She bought it in a squeezable tube and kept it in the door of the frig. She would also keep anchovies in a small glass jar tucked away in the frig. They really come in handy. Hard boiled eggs with anchovies on toasted rye bread was a typical treat in our house.

SPECIAL FESTIVE COLOURS for your Exotic Leftover Turkey. Add green peppers for a MERRY CHRISTMAS and enjoy  the holidays with FESTIVE, ‘HEALTHY’ RED AND GREEN PEPPERS!
red_green_peppers

MEMORIES OF THAILAND ~ Honey “Thai” Thighs

MEMORIES  OF THAILAND
There are  many recipes for chicken and chicken thighs. I really liked Linda’s “Honey Thigh Recipe” from the Fabulous Fare Sisters. Linda wrote that she would like to see my version of her Honey ~”Thai” Thigh Recipe”  after I commented on Linda’s Yummy honey Thai chicken recipe. . . .from LINDA: Thank you! Hope you give it a try – would love to see your version!  Being a lab rat, I enjoyed experimenting with this chicken recipe;  originating from Thailand.  I prepared Linda’s  wonderfully tasty chicken thigh dish. The selection of spices was too good! I did not adjust the original recipe. The great flavours of Turmeric, chives basil, ginger and soy sauce were so good already. You don’t want to change something that is already spectacular.  The only variation I made was  in the added honey;  used for  sweetness and caramelization.

Memories of Thailand!

Memories of Thailand!

TEST-TUBEMY TEST KITCHEN 
I made 3 versions of this  “dish” by  altering the method of adding sweetness to this dish. I wanted to see if there was any change in the flavour and the caramelization.
I made my first version almost the same as the original Fabulous Fare Sisters recipe. (on March 10, 2016).  In my version I used green onions instead of chives.  I doubled up on the turmeric,  basil and ginger since I am fortunate to live near “St. Lawrence Market” where I am able to get fresh ginger and turmeric along with fresh basil all year round. I grow my basil in the summer. The fresh turmeric is not as common as fresh ginger from local supermarkets here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I was very generous with the cilantro. I used 1/4 cup of cilantro instead of a few leaves since I like it so much!
I made the second version  and added  the honey at the end, with one tablespoon of soy sauce glazed on top to see if the flavour and caramelization was affected.  I assumed that the caramelization would be less.
I made a third version with two tablespoons of stevia substituted for the honey and used chicken legs.

All Natural, Healthy Stevia

All Natural, Healthy Stevia read more from godshalingplants.wordpress.com

All versions were marinated for 24 hours. I shared my Thai chicken with my  friends, neighbour and  the concierge in my building.  The concierge is very please that I include him in my test kitchen.
RESULTS
The results surprised me a little.  The first version was good.  I had thought that the second version would have less caramelization. It did not. It was the same as the first. If the caramelization is too much and carbon is formed then this is not very healthy.  The third version with the stevia was just a little too sweet. I would perhaps change it to 1 tablespoon of Stevia instead of two tablespoons.
THE VOTE WAS UNANIMOUS!
All the critics favoured the version that had the honey and soy sauce glazed on top at the very end. The sweetness of the honey was enjoyable but it did not permeate through the entire dish.  This gave a pleasant contrast between the sweet and the savory.  It was the winner with everyone here!
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RECIPE
HONEY THAI THIGHS
INGREDIENTS
6-8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs  ( or bone-in or legs)
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
1 teaspoon grated fresh turmeric (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon grated ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt  fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 limes
1/4 cup honey (or 2 tablespoons stevia)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves.

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Ingredients for the chicken thighs on the left and chicken legs with stevia on the right

INSTRUCTIONS
1.  Season the chicken with the chives, turmeric, basil, ginger, salt, pepper, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce,
2.  Zest the lines and squeeze the lime juice over the chicken.
3.  Drizzle with the honey and add cilantro.
4.  Allow to marinade for 10 minutes(up to 24 hours).
5.  In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the seasoned thighs 6-10 minutes on each side until cooked through.
6.  If using bone-in or legs cook 2 more minutes on both sides.
7. Test to an internal temperature of 165 degrees away from the bone. Serve and garnish with more cilantro leaves.

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Chicken thighs that had honey glaze on the left and chicken with honey in the marinade on the right

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Chicken legs in stevia marinade cooking

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Chicken thighs and legs garnished with cilantro

I would like to thank the talented Fabulous Fare Sisters for their delicious recipe .  The challenge was truly interesting and made me consider all options to improvise and test this recipe.  The recipe was wonderful.  Everyone enjoyed it. The version that had the same amount of honey as in the original recipe but used as a glaze was the winner with my group of taste testers.  Many thanks to them as well and I hope that everyone keeps cooking happy and healthy.