Thai-Style Turkey Curry

Wine recommendation: Fisch had a ready pairing for this recipe: "When I think of Thai food, I think of Alsatian wine—it has good fruit and high acidity, and you need that to battle the coconut sauce. You can’t have a wimpy wine here. If you had a California Chard it would destroy both the food and the wine. For this dish, I recommend a Gewürztraminer. It’s rich, has lots of texture, good mouthfeel and spicy overtones." One of his favorites is a Hugel. Pierre Sparr’s Reserve and Trimbach are also reliable. They are priced around $13 to $19.

  • 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice or other long-grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large white onion, cut into bite-sized wedges
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 4 to 5 cups (about two and a half 14-ounce cans) coconut milk or light coconut milk
  • 3 medium-sized white potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks (about 2 ½ to 3 cups)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar, or to taste
  • 10 basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups cubed or sliced cooked turkey meat
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, or more to taste
  • Prepare the rice according to the package directions and keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok set over medium-high heat until it sizzles when you add a drop of water to it. Add the onion and cook for 1 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, until the onions are translucent and soft, but not browned. Transfer to large saucepan and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium and return the wok to the heat. Pour in about 1 cup of the coconut milk, add the curry paste and curry powder and slowly bring to a boil, stirring and mashing the paste with a wooden spoon so that it dissolves and the liquid becomes golden in color. Simmer until oil droplets appear on the surface of the coconut milk. Gradually add 3 more cups coconut milk, one cup at a time, and bring it to a boil again.

Pour the mixture into the waiting saucepan. Add the potatoes and remaining coconut milk and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced by the tip of a sharp knife. Stir in the turkey, palm sugar and basil and simmer for about 1 minute to heat the turkey through. Add the fish sauce and stir once. Taste and add more sugar if necessary. Serve hot over the jasmine rice.

Published on July 1, 2010