This year my family will be visiting London over winter break, a trip that Andrew’s mom has wanted to take with us for years and we’re finally able to make it happen. I’m excited to visit the UK for the first time, and I’m looking forward to exploring the city and exploring both the historical and cultural sites, and British food traditions and trends.

I recently learned that the vast majority of families in the UK sit down to a traditional roast turkey dinner on Christmas day, just like many families do in the US and Canada on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Apparently this tradition goes back to England’s King Henry VIII who was the first monarch to serve turkey as part of his elaborate holiday meal.

The turkey tradition in England was even woven into Charles Dickens’ classic tale, A Christmas Carol.  Ebenezer Scrooge sends a giant turkey on Christmas Day to the home of his underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit, after Scrooge has his spiritual transformation.

Cooking a massive turkey inevitably leads to leftovers, which can easily be transformed into another dinner on December 26th. My colleague Linda Wolpert, shared this recipe that her mom has been making for decades after their family’s turkey feasts. I lightened it up a bit, but the result is just as delicious and makes a great way to repurpose leftover chicken or turkey. Serve it with egg noodles or steamed rice.

What are your family’s food traditions on Christmas Day?

Recipe: Creamy Turkey (or Chicken) Curry

  • Prep Time: 20 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 20 min(s)
  • Total Time: 40 min(s)
  • Servings: 6

A great way to use your leftover turkey or chicken.

Ingredients

    • 2 Tbsp. butter
    • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced, 3/4 cup
    • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced, 3/4 cup
    • 4 oz. sliced mushrooms, 1 1/2 cups
    • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken or turkey stock
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp. curry powder, or more to taste (up to 1 Tbsp.)
    • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
    • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
    • 3 cups cooked chicken or turkey, chopped
    • 1/2 cup chutney, store-bought or homemade (see recipe below)

Instructions

    Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat, and add the butter. When it is bubbly, add the onions, celery and mushrooms and sauté until they onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolk and stir it into the stock. Add the flour, curry powder and nutmeg to the vegetables in the skillet, and then slowly stir in the stock and egg yolk, and add the Worcestershire sauce, and cook it, stirring often, until it thickens, 2 – 3 minutes. Add the turkey or chicken and simmer it for about 5 minutes until heated through. Season it with salt and pepper to taste and serve it topped with chutney, if desired (see recipe below).

    To make Linda’s homemade chutney, combine 1 cup apple butter, 1 cup raisins, ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce, and a few dashes of hot pepper sauce or 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper. Cover and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours to let the flavors meld. Store it for up to a week.

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