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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Cooking your game: No hurry turkey tom red curry

John Hennessy

There is no hunt that requires a greater sense of poise than wild turkey.

A hunter sits with his back to a tree to distort their silhouette, ignoring the knots forming in the back, calves going numb, after hours of remaining motionless.

A paranoia persists: What is out there that I can’t see, watching me?

Every movement in a turkey blind must be calculated, perhaps even rehearsed, in order to act appropriately when those few seconds of opportunity arrive.

Turkey hunting, especially in the spring, teaches the hunter one important lesson: endure.

A patient sport pairs well with a diligent recipe. The real work for this Thai red curry lies in the waiting.

As with almost every wild turkey breast, I butterflied the breast, lightly tenderizing the meat afterward. For 48 hours, I brined the turkey breast in cold water, which included a handful each of salt, sugar and black pepper; one garlic bulb slightly peeled then smashed; 4-6 ounces of ginger, smashed; one sliced jalapeño.

I started simmering my liquids and spices early in the evening, while stirring intermittently between other tasks. After a half hour I added my lightly sautéed vegetables. Too sautéed and they may become mush in the soup while it continues to simmer.

After about an hour, I preheated the oven and started boiling my rice. Whenever planning to add rice to your soup, always use less water than normal and undercook it so it doesn’t turn to slop in the soup. As well, make certain adding rice to the soup is the last step.

I baked the turkey, adding no seasoning (the brine already handled the flavoring). I diced the turkey once it finished cooking and added it to the soup. Throughout stirring, I occasionally added a teaspoon of salt to undercut the sweetness.

Before I added my cooked rice, I wanted to thicken up the soup, so I added a corn starch slurry. Kevin Russell, kitchen manager of Elk Public House, taught me this trick.

Keep in mind: A little corn starch goes a long way. Start with a tablespoon, add not quite 1 tablespoon cold water to create a slurry and add to the soup, stir, and see if that consistency suits you. If not, add another tablespoon or so of corn starch slurry.

With the rice added, I let the soup simmer a bit more before serving. I garnished this red curry with fresh basil.

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