As promised, here is part one of how to make a Thai Turkey Dinner. I started with the complete shopping list, and found some of the more exotic items for you online. So I've done all the hard work. :) Below the shopping list is the Turkey recipe and order of preparation for the rest of the meal.
You will need:
For the Turkey
one small turkey- less than 10 lbs is best, for a larger bird you will want to marinate an extra 24 hours but the flavor still won't be as intense.
*Tom Yum paste
lemon grass (Lots, 10 stalks or so)
kaffir lime leaves
Thai red chili
(the lime leaves, galangaal, and chili are all in this handy little fresh mailer package from Amazon, with extra lemon grass. I didn't even know you could get this until today.)
toasted sesame oil
For the salad:
1 pound large prawns-peeled
Green leaf lettuce
Mung bean sprouts
For the dressing,
12 oz natural chunky peanut butter
1 garlic clove (You already have this for the turkey)
fish sauce (You already have this for the Turkey)
Red Curry Paste
For the Rice:
brown jasmine rice
dried wood ear mushrooms
For the rice variation:
4 garlic cloves
For Thai Iced tea:
Thai iced tea mix
sweetened condensed milk
For an appetizer:
For dessert: Black Rice pudding with mango
purple sticky rice/ or black rice
palm or brown sugar
coconut milk 240mL
coconut cream 120mL
To make the Turkey:
If frozen thaw in time to marinate for a day before hand.
Make tamarind water:
Put 3-4 tbsp dried tamarind pulp in a bowl and add 1/2 cup of hot water. Let it it soak for about 20 minutes, stir it to break up the lumps. When the pulp is soft strain it through a fine sieve, keeping the liquid. Press on the pulp to get out all of the liquid. Keep the water, toss the pulp.
To the tamarind water add
2 cups tom yum paste
1/3 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar or kecap manis
Stir together. This is your marinade.
Put the turkey in a large pot, or clean plastic bag and pour the marinade in. Marinate over night and longer the larger your turkey is. Turn often.
On the day off, follow the instructions for length of cooking based on size of bird. Place the turkey breast down in a large roasting pan. We always roast birds with the breast down so the the juices run into instead of out of the breast and keep it moist. (Trick from my grandma). Inside stuff crushed garlic cloves, kaffir limes leaves, lots of sliced lemon grass, sliced galangaal root, and whole Thai chilies. This is all for flavor, you won't eat any of it.
Pour all of the marinade into the pan as well, don't worry if the bird sits in it a little, that's good. I don't generally baste at all, but with this one we baste once about half way through cooking and keep it tented with foil the rest of the time until 20 minutes or so before we take it out. Cook it on the lowest possible heat, say 250, until it is cooked all the way through, usually 3-4 hours. (Think slow cooker.) Another grandma trick, the turkey is done when you can shake hands with it. The leg moves easily when you try to move it. This turkey will not dry out if you over cook it a bit, so err on the side of done.
Once the turkey is cooked remove it from the oven and place on a board. Tent it with the foil and let it rest. This turkey usually falls apart it's so moist and doesn't usually need to be carved, but you can try. There should be a lot of drippings in the bottom which is great. You will need it for other things.
Brown rice with Wood ear mushrooms
Now start cooking your rice. This takes a while so be ready to go as soon as the Turkey is done, or steal some drippings while it's still in the oven. Break up the wood ear mushrooms into small pieces and add to the dry rice. Then cook the rice according to package directions, but one third of your liquid will be the drippings from the turkey. More if you like really intense flavor.
Slice the green onions and stir into the rice when it is done. Garnish with some fresh cilantro and serve. This is the easy version and it's tasty.
Pineapple fried rice variation
For a variation that is fun turn this into a variation of pineapple fried rice. Cut a pineapple in half and hollow out the shells. Cube the pineapple flesh.
In a wok over high heat stir fry 1 chopped onion until it's soft. Add 4 minced garlic cloves, and stir fry for half a minute then throw in the pineapple and rice from the cooker, as prepared above. Add salt and pepper to taste, and fish sauce with a bit of sugar if it's too dry. Stir in the sliced green onions and cilantro leaves and serve the rice in the hollowed out pineapple shells.
Preparing the prawns for the salad and making gravy
You will want to make gravy from the remaining turkey drippings while the rice is cooking.
In a heavy saucepan, simmer the drippings. In a bowl stir together 1/4 cup of cornstarch and one cup of cold water until the cornstarch is fully dissolved. As you pour the cornstarch mixture into the drippings, use your other hands to rapidly stir them together with a whisk. Pour slowly, stir like crazy, until it's all combined and smooth. Continue stirring until it starts to bubble. As soon the gravy is bubbling, throw the raw prawns into the pan for 2-3 minutes until they turn bright red. Fish them out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Let them chill and keep them in the fridge until it's time to serve the salad. These will go with the salad, which I'll tell you how to make tomorrow. The sauce for the salad can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated. The salad greens can also be partially assembled in the morning, or whenever you like on the day of.
*(I just spent a loong time trying to find online the Tom Yum paste that we use that doesn't have shrimp or msg in it. However, I can't remember the brand name and I don't have a jar in the fridge right now. The one on Amazon, I have used before and it tastes right, but it has MSG in it too. You could grab the basic ingredients, Lemon grass, onion garlic, galangaal, lime leaves, Thai red chilies, red curry paste, and blend them all in a mortar and pestle, or food processor and fry them in oil and then store in a jar in the fridge. )