Tag Archives: leftovers

Turkey Curry Recipe

curry with turkey titles resized

As I write this it is the Sunday evening of Thanksgiving weekend. The dishwasher is running, the kitchen is cleaned up, I’ve already made bone broth from the turkey carcass and put five quarts of it in the deep freeze. I’m thankful for my parents who volunteered to make the drive from Alabama to Orlando on a holiday weekend – if you’ve ever tried to drive Florida’s turnpike this time of year you know what a big deal that is! But it was nice to have all the grandparents around the table this year (my husband’s dad, who lives in the area, was also with us) so my kids were very blessed.

Now that the big meal is over we still have an entire gallon ziploc bag of turkey leftover even after two meals of leftovers plus a couple of turkey salad sandwiches for the travelers. My daughter pleaded “no more soup!” (we’ve eaten a lot of soup lately trying to keep everyone from catching the latest virus making the rounds). So I pulled out my recipe for turkey curry – it uses up a pound of the leftovers plus it’s a way to sneak more bone broth into everyone without actually eating more soup. Plus, the flavors of curry are a nice detour away from the typical holiday flavors. By the way, this goes great with leftover cranberry sauce, too!  If you’re reading this and it’s not after a major turkey-filled holiday you could substitute leftover cooked chicken for the turkey.

Turkey Curry


3-4 Tablespoons butter, ghee or coconut oil

1 large apple (peeled or unpeeled, it’s your call), diced

1 large onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1 Tablespoon curry powder *

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (or less if you don’t like spicy)

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder OR tapioca starch OR non-GMO cornstarch

2 cups homemade turkey stock (or use chicken stock), divided use

4-6 cups chopped leftover turkey (or chicken)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (optional)

3 cups hot cooked basmati rice

Toppings and garnishes:

choose your favorites to sprinkle over the top of the curry-

raisins, diced tomatoes, diced bell pepper, chopped cucumber, parsley, cilantro, pineapple, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, papaya, mango, chutney or even leftover cranberry sauce

curry condiments labled resized


Melt the butter or oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple and onion to the pan and saute about 10 minutes until the onions are translucent, don’t brown them. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Then add the curry powder, salt and red pepper and stir well. Stir in the coconut milk and 1 1/2 cups of the broth, reduce the heat and simmer another five minutes. Add the chopped turkey. Combine the arrowroot (or other thickener) with the remaining 1/2 cup of stock. Pour the mixture into the pan along with the lemon juice if desired, and stir constantly until the curry begins to thicken slightly. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. Serve over the hot cooked rice and top with your favorite condiments.

*curry powders vary wildly in their flavor and spiciness. Most curry powders contain turmeric, coriander, fenugreek and cumin; but they can also contain many other spices including ginger, cayenne pepper, fennel and even saffron. It’s fun to experiment with different curry powders, but read the ingredient list and don’t buy any that include MSG. Good curry powders are salt-free so you can adjust the salt in the recipe to your own taste.

Turkey Curry
Recipe type: curry
A nice change of pace to use up Thanksgiving leftovers.
  • 3-4 Tablespoons butter, ghee or coconut oil (or a mixture)
  • 1 large apple, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper (or less if you don't like spicy)
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder OR tapioca starch OR non-GMO cornstarch
  • 2 cups homemade turkey broth (or chicken broth), divided
  • 4-6 cups chopped cooked turkey (or chicken)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, optional
  • 3 cups hot cooked basmati rice
  • A selection of condiments for topping the curry, choose from:
  • raisins, diced tomato, diced bell pepper, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, mango, papaya, pineapple, chutney or even cranberry sauce
  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the apple and onion and saute for about 10 minutes until the onion is tender, but not browned.
  3. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  4. Add the curry powder, salt and red pepper and stir well.
  5. Add the coconut milk and 1½ cups of the broth. Reduce the heat and simmer for about ive minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the turkey to the pan and stir.
  7. Combine the remaining ½ cup of broth with the arrowroot powder and then pour this mixture into the pan, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly.
  8. Stir in the lemon juice if desired.
  9. Serve over the hot cooked rice and top with your choice of condiments.
  10. Leftovers are even tastier the next day.

What is your favorite way to use up holiday leftovers? Tell us about it in the comments section or come over to Facebook and start a conversation there.

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How To Make Good Soup

stone soupDo you remember the children’s story about stone soup? Strangers stopping in a small village are given the cold shoulder until, one by one, each villager is persuaded to add an ingredient to the pot while the strangers contribute a stone to the boiling water. The original legend says this soup was the first minestrone and that one of the strangers was actually Godfrey of Bouillon, a medieval knight.  Truth or legend doesn’t matter, the moral of the story is true: in times of scarcity and poverty we are still able to provide nourishment and delicious food to our own families and have enough to share in hospitality with others in need. Soup provides a way to do all of that and more.

“Whenever possible give your soups the full flavor of homemade stock.” – Julia Child

Homemade stocks, also called bone broths, have been around for as long as there have been cooking pots, and make the base for the very best soups.  There is a simple beauty in these stocks as they give us deep nourishment as well as allowing us to use even the hard, normally inedible parts of the animal showing common sense, frugality and a respect for the life of the animal that was given for your sustenance.  The bones of any and every creature were used for stock which then became soup, sauce, gravy or even beverage.  Find a recipe for a basic bone broth here, or watch our video tutorial on roasting a chicken and making broth here. You can also save the pan juices from your roasting pan when you roast a chicken, leg of lamb, pot roast or turkey. These pan drippings have enormous flavor concentrated into a small volume and can be added to soups to intensify flavor or to stand in when you don’t have enough stock.

“There is no such thing as a good chicken bouillon, and you should stoop to using canned chicken broth only during times of dire emergency.” – Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet

To make your soup start with a big, heavy bottom pot at least 2 quarts or larger. The first stage begins with the “aromatics”. These are strong-flavored ingredients frequently sauteed together in butter, lard, duck fat or coconut oil to lend a complexity to the flavor of the finished soup. Aromatics can include onion, carrot, celery, shallots, garlic, leek, sweet or hot peppers, bacon, pancetta or salt pork. Asian soups often use toasted spices such as turmeric, cumin, fenugreek or cardamom as part of the aromatics. You can also use herbs bundled together and simmered in the soup and removed just before serving – bay leaf, parsley stems, thyme sprigs for example. Saute the aromatic vegetables about five minutes taking care not to burn, then advance to the next step.

adding potatoesNow it’s time to add the sturdier vegetables such as cubes of potato, turnip, broccoli, cabbage, winter squash or other root vegetable, or cooked beans. Toss them with the aromatics to coat them with the hot fat and then add in the homemade stock or bone broth. Simmer the vegetables 10-15 minutes and then add any additional softer vegetables such as zucchini, kale or some chopped cook meat such as leftover roast chicken or beef, or tiny meatballs. Add a little salt and pepper at this time as well. Continue to simmer 10 or 15 more minutes until the vegetables are done to your liking. Taste again for salt and add more if needed.

Now it’s time for the enrichments.  In some Mediterranean areas one egg or egg yolk per person is added, either beaten in to thicken the soup or poached in some broth and added to the pot. Or you can add freshly grated cheese, sour cream, creme fraiche, coconut milk or heavy cream.  Turn off the heat under the pot before you add in any of the cultured dairy ingredients or they may curdle and you will lose the probiotic aspect. 

Ladle the soup into serving bowls and add a flavorful garnish.  Garnishes can include a dollop of pesto or spicy tomato paste, a spoonful of capers or sliced olives, lemon zest and finely chopped parsley, chopped fresh chervil or chives, a bit of butter or swirl of extra virgin olive oil, some buttered croutons, or a drizzle of fish sauce. You can also add a spoonful of lacto-fermented salsa, sauerkraut or fruit chutney for added flavor and a probiotic boost.


Delicious soup isn’t hard or expensive to make. When you know the basic technique you can have gourmet soup just by cleaning out the refrigerator or freezer. With a bit of planning your soup can be a memorable meal.

soup-and-muffinsoup-and-muffinbeef stew with ladle