Recipe of the week: Thai chili-lime turkey

Turkey is not nearly as common a protein as chicken, pork, duck, and beef in traditional Thai food, but this turkey recipe leans in on traditional Thai flavors that result in a moist, flavorful, and juicy bird—and a definite twist to the usual taste you would expect. The balance of sweet, salty, sour, and spicy in one bite is uniquely Thai and altogether creates an umami nirvana. Brined in fresh lime juice, fish sauce, Thai chili, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves then rubbed with garlic butter, this recipe provides for the crispiest golden skin and a perfectly juicy Thai-style turkey. Not a huge fan of spice? Tone it down by cutting back on the number of chilis you choose to incorporate. And if a whole bird is not in the books for your smaller 2020 socially distanced celebration, you can scale down the ingredients and cut the cooking time by brining and roasting turkey parts. (Read on to calculate your cook time based on your turkey’s weight!) During a year that is already anything but traditional, mixing up your conventional holiday recipes is a surefire way to please the family and your tastebuds. And like with most dishes, the leftovers are even more delicious than the first meal. You can save the turkey’s drippings to form the base of a soup stock or use leftover bits of meat in a quick pad Thai the next day, this time placing an American twist on a traditional Thai dish. Chances are you’ll enjoy this Thai-chili lime turkey so much, it might become your go-to recipe for years to come. Ingredients 10–12 lb. turkey 3 cups of freshly squeezed lime juice 2 cups of Thai fish sauce ½ cup of brown sugar Cold water 20 cloves of garlic for brine and 4 cloves of garlic for butter, both blended or minced 20 fresh Thai chilis, blended or chopped 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted Turkey or chicken stock Directions Briming the turkey Rinse turkey under cold water, and place in large bowl/pot/bag or vessel for brining turkey of choice. Make brine by adding lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and Thai chili into a bowl to mix. Add mixed brine into vessel with turkey, add cold water to cover the turkey, wrap the vessel, and let it sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours (best if you can do it for 48 hours). Roasting the turkey Preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry. Mix melted butter with garlic. Starting at neck end, slide hand between skin and breast meat to loosen skin. Rub butter-garlic over the breast meat under the skin. Place turkey breast down on rack set in a large roasting pan. Pour turkey or chicken stock into the roasting pan. Cover turkey loosely with foil and put into oven. Cook turkey for 13 minutes for every pound. For the last 30 minutes of cooking, flip the turkey breast side up with loosely covered foil. Thank you to Chef Vanda Asapahu from Ayara Thai, Los Angeles, USA, for the recipe. If you have a recipe you would like to share with  A Luxury Travel Blog‘s readers, please contact us.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. Do I dare to challenge tradition and serve this on Christmas Day without a Brussels sprout in sight? What would the mother-in-law say?

  2. This recipe could be a great winter/warmer but with an unusual orientalist take on turkey. It ain’t going to be a problem sourcing the turkey at this time of year.

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