Recipe: Turkey Curry

Hi – my name is Courtney and I adore junk food.

I have never met a french fry I did not love.  There is no food truck, drive-thru or roadside stand that I have not frequented in a 10 mile radius of my house.  I love the salty, greasy and bad for you.  My love of all things bad for you, was one of the reasons I went to culinary school – to find a way to bridge haute cuisine with my heart-attack inducing food loves.  While I never quite found the secret during my time at the CIA, I did find it’s inverse —  how to make formerly “bad for you” recipes not only healthy but tasty.

This recipe for Turkey Curry is a riff on Indian chicken curry, one of my favorite dishes.  A plate of curry, basmati rice and hot naan is my idea of heaven.  However, it is also the US government’s idea of over half of my daily caloric intake in a one plate serving.  YIKES!  After doing some research, I found a recipe from Cooking Light magazine that with some substitutions and additions produces a pretty authentic tasting final dish.  I was quite surprised how good this recipe tasted compared to the curries I get my from little hole in the wall in Berkeley.  While the recipe does lack the cream that makes curries so delicious, the addition of the apple and use of real butter adds a rich flavor at very little cost (for your wallet and your waist line).

Turkey Curry

Yield: 4-6 servings

2 tablespoons butter
3 cups small-diced apple (peeled and core – about 2 large apples)
2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons  cornstarch
1 tablespoon  curry powder
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
6 cups chopped cooked turkey (about 1 pound)
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/4 teaspoon of red/cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon)
2  tablespoons  chopped green onions (optional)

1. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and apples to pan; sauté for 12 minutes with lid on until onions are soft. 

2. Add curry powder, salt, and pepper to pan and stir until onion mixture is coated.

3.  Combine milk and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add to pan and stir to mix.

4.  Add chicken broth, reduce heat and cook for 4 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thick.  Be sure to stir constantly to avoid scorching.

5.  Add turkey and lemon juice to pan & cook for 5 minutes.

6.  Ladle mixture on top of basmatic rice andsprinkle with green onion garnish.


– Turkey: If you do not have any leftover turkey, buy turkey breast, dice into small cubes and saute in 1 tablespoon of canola oil.  Pre-cooked chicken also works well in this recipe.  However, you may want to increase the amount of curry powder to 2 tablespoons as I found the chicken has a much stronger flavor.

– Apples: I used Macoun apples in one version and Golden Delicious in another, however, any variety of apple should be fine to use with the exclusion of tart apples like a Granny Smith.  I found them WAY too tart in flavor and texture wise, they did not break down during the cooking process.  The final dish ended up crunchy more than melt in your mouth good.

– Butter vs. Canola Oil:  Feel free to use canola oil in lieu of the butter but honestly, the butter adds so much to the dish that it’s crazy.  Do yourself a favor and walk a few extra blocks so you can have the butter…..


3 thoughts on “Recipe: Turkey Curry

  1. This recipe sounds tasty. I just bar-b-q’d a turkey. I’m going to give this a try with the leftovers. I’ll follow-up with a review. I like the apples in it. I’m going to include diced carrots too.

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