I can’t remember the last time I was so completely impressed with a recipe – the first iteration of a recipe, no less – that it rendered me utterly speechless. So I have to tell you, I am writing this a couple of hours post-dinner, after two bowls of this velvety, sweet-sour-spicy, umami-rich turkey and sweet potato cashew curry.
I think I’ve found the words. It’s so perfect, I need to share it. It’s the best way I’ve ever used leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
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We cooked Thanksgiving dinner at my mom and dad’s house, and took most of the leftovers home. She was a pretty bird this year, and quite a bit bigger than we’re used to. Just look that crispy, golden skin…
Noah is definitely going to write a future post on how he makes THE BEST roast chicken and turkey. He roasted this bird.
I wanted to create a simple Thai curry with turkey, potatoes, and other vegetables. As it happened, we peeled a few too many sweet potatoes before Thanksgiving, and stashed them in the refrigerator. When simmered in this spicy coconut broth, they are rich and delicious, and a step above regular potatoes. You could substitute regular potatoes and create something a lot like a massaman curry (which I love), but their sweetness goes especially well with coconut milk and a little bit of ginger. Not to mention that sweet potatoes are richer in a lot of vitamins than white potatoes.
So what else is going on in this dish? Well, there is a lot of flavor, but putting it together is surprisingly uncomplicated. It takes a bit of prep, but only one pot (not including rice.)
Sautéing the red onion separately, before adding it to the sauce, is a technique I first saw on Serious Eats. The onions retain their beautiful purple color and just the right amount of texture when added to the curry at the end.
If you have it on hand, homemade stock will make a difference in this dish. We usually have some on hand, because of the aforementioned husband and his prowess with poultry. If you don’t have homemade stock, be sure to look for a low-sodium variety. I like Better Than Bouillon Low Sodium Chicken Base and have used it for years. It’s a concentrated paste, so it stores easily in the refrigerator and keeps for a long time.
I am not sure what brand of red curry paste I used, because I purchased it at an international grocery store and I can’t read the brand on the label! I guess that means it’s authentic, right? I definitely need more curry paste (of all types) in my life.
Finally, most Thai curries are served over jasmine rice, but we only had Basmati rice on hand. I think it’s a great substitute. Basmati rice also has the added benefit of a lower glycemic index than shorter-grain white rice, which means it has less of an impact on blood sugar.
I hope you enjoy this!
Turkey and Sweet Potato Cashew Curry
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 large red onion sliced into wedges
- 3 tbsp red curry paste
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- 1 1/2 cups carrots diced
- 2 1/2 cups sweet potatoes diced
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 can (13 oz) coconut milk
- 2 cups chicken stock unsalted, homemade is best
- 2 tbsp fish sauce (Three Crabs brand is best)
- 5 kaffir lime leaves
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 lb cooked turkey diced
- 1/4 cup green peas (frozen is ok)
- 1/2 cup cashew pieces
- hot basmati rice
- cilantro leaves
- lime wedges
In a dutch oven or heavy pot, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add onion wedges. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions start to brown around the edges. Remove onions from pan and set aside.
Add curry paste, ginger, and garlic to the pot. Fry briefly for about a minute.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add carrots, potatoes, brown sugar, coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves, star anise, and cinnamon stick. Stir to combine.
Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are just tender.
Gently stir in onions, cooked turkey, peas, and cashews. Simmer for about 5 minutes longer, or until hot.
Remove and discard kaffir lime leaves, cinnamon stick, and star anise before serving over hot rice. Garnish with cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime if desired.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate, and does not include rice. Actual nutrient values may vary.