When my husband and I got married, my sister-in-law put together a cook book with a bunch of our family recipes. She's pretty awesome like that. It was wonderful to have some of my favorite childhood memories put together and preserved so I can pass these down to my kids. One of those recipes came from one of my aunts, who said she learned to make this early on in her marriage and made subsequent annual appearances thereafter. She generally used leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, but if you make a turkey for Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner (our more "formal" meal was on Christmas Eve) and have leftovers, then you're covered. I think it would be just as good using leftover chicken, too. Frankly, if I'm making chicken, I would just make extra to use later in the week for this recipe.
It's really good, but I did tweak it a little to suit my personal preferences (decreased the butter and substituted coconut milk for evaporated milk from the original). Another great thing about this recipe is that it is really easy and quick to put together. If you serve it over rice, get the rice working first, because the curry will be done in the same amount of time as the rice needs to cook. Seriously, you will have dinner on the table in 30 minutes, once you've got all the chopping done. If you want to save even more time, buy the onions and green beans already prepped (you could even use frozen green beans, if that's what you have).
If you'd like tweak to your personal taste and dietary needs, it is really easy. If you want the consistency to be less thick, you can leave the flour out all together, or, if you are avoiding gluten/processed flour, you can substitute the thickening agent of your choice. I find it sweet enough without adding sugar, but my kids eat it better with it in, so I keep it, but you could totally leave it out or substitute honey or other sweetener of choice. Avoiding dairy? Substitute vegetable or olive oil for the butter. Vegetarian? Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and substitute portabello mushrooms for the meat. :-)
Leftover Turkey Curry
1 large onion, chopped into 1/4 inch dice
4 ribs celery, sliced into 1/4 inch thick pieces
2 Tbsp. curry powder (I like Penzey's sweet curry blend)
1 large sour apple (Although I've used different kinds, I found that Granny Smith tastes best), peeled, sliced lenghtwise into 1/8ths, then cut across into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 stick butter (4 Tbsp)
2 cups chicken stock
1 can coconut milk, shaken well
1/8 cup flour
2 Tbsp sugar (optional)
2+ cups chopped, cooked turkey or chicken
1/2 lb (8 oz) green beans, cut into approximately 1-inch lengths
Heat a large saute or frying pan over medium heat, add butter to pan and let melt. Add onion, celery and apple to butter and saute until soft. Add curry powder, salt, sugar and flour to the pan. Stir and cook veggies with the spices for another minute or two, then add stock and coconut milk. Heat to simmer, and cook until sauce has thickened (about 5 minutes), then add turkey and green beans. Bring back to a gentle simmer (sauce should just be rippling, not bubbling, over its surface) and cook for 3 more minutes, until the turkey is heated through.
Serve over rice, if you wish, and garnish with any of the following: peanuts, coconut, chopped green onions, chutney, golden raisins, or chopped, hard boiled eggs.
Serves 4, generously