Top 10 Post Thanksgiving Recipes
Thanksgiving is a mere dozen or so days away, and everyone is gearing up for the family feast held thereupon. The only real issue after all the hubbub and craziness dies down, mainly that following week, is what to do with the remaining hunk of turkey taking up vast amounts of space in your refrigerator. Well, generally we just pick at it hoping somehow it’ll just slowly fade into non-existence on its own, but it never really does and we end up tossing it to the dogs. Well, waste no more, with these delicious recipes, you can serve your bird for weeks to come and no one will be the wiser! Incidentally, these are all my own recipes from past years. I am a chef so I can at the very least guarantee that the measurements are correct, I can only hope you’ll try them and enjoy!
10. Turkey Curry
2 Tbls. Curry Powder
4 Tbls. Butter
1 whole medium sized onion, diced
3 cups left-over turkey (light or dark)
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 cup left over gravy or grease-less drippings
Combine butter and onion in saucier or sauce pan and heat over medium until sweated (not sauteed, that would give the onion color) then add the turkey and heat through. When thoroughly mixed, pour in drippings or gravy to thicken, add cumin (salt and pepper to taste) and serve hot over rice or cold in a roll.
9. Turkey and Gravy over Biscuits
This one is deceptively simple and is also great for anyone on a budget especially after the holiday. Simply chop up some left over turkey and heat through with either left-over gravy, or from the store which is relatively inexpensive if you by it in the envelope. Mix thoroughly and serve over either left-over biscuits or bread, or a tube of pre-made biscuit dough is also pretty cheap and readily available. Delicious breakfast snack as well!
Turkey broth has any number of future uses once it is made. Broth is different from stock as it is made from the remaining meat of this particular bird, or just the meat of anything you want to create broth from. In this case, pick as much meat as you can off of the bones and toss into a large stock pot, preferably tall and heavy. Add vegetables such as carrots (you don’t even need to peel them), onions (just quartered, again no peeling necessary), and celery just broken and tossed in. In order to get maximum herb flavor you will need to add herbs and spices but I’d recommend not just throwing them in since they will be difficult to retrieve later. What I suggest is taking a regular coffee filter and filling it half-full with whole pepper corns, fresh or dry: thyme, basil, sage, and parsley, and I enjoy whole coriander seed as well. Now twist up the filter and tie shut with whatever is handy, and toss it in the pot. Fill with enough water to cover everything, yes, the filter will temporarily float, and turn the heat to high to bring to a boil. Back it down to a simmer and let it go covered for at least 3 hours. Skim the fat as necessary and always make sure the water remains about the same level by adding hot water as needed. Drain through a colander into a large vessel, and rapidly bring the temp down by dropping in frozen water bottles. And there you go! A thousand uses from risotto to soup!
7. Turkey Stock
Though similar to broth, stock is quite a bit different in a few of its key steps. Stock is made from collagen from bones and when made correctly yields a much thicker and gelatinous product. Unfortunately, since the turkey has already been cooked, the end result will not be quite as perfect as from a fresh bird. Anyway, take all the bones you have left (wings, legs, neck) we’re looking for as meatless of bone as you can attempt, and toss them into a good stock pot. Use the same variety of veggies as with the broth as well as the herb package (called a Bouquet Garni, by the way) and place them all in the pot as well. Bring again to a boil and back down to a simmer and this time you’ll need to keep it at a bare bubble for six hours or more, depending on the bones. When collagen breaks down the bones will become spongy and even brittle, this is a good indication that you are done. During the process you will acquire some nasty foam at the top of the simmer, just skim it off and toss away. Once complete, drain into a new container as before, and quickly bring the temp down. Stock is the corner stone of a thousand sauces and bases, so use for whatever needs a bit of extra flavor. You can freeze it for up to a year as well.
6. Turkey and Rice Casserole
My grandma used to call this turkey Divan, similar to her chicken Divan, and equally as outstanding. Here’s what you’ll need:
3 cups large diced turkey
1 cup left over gravy
1 can cream of broccoli soup
1 large bag of frozen broccoli
1/2 large onion diced
1 tbls. butter or oil
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs (or standard is fine)
1 tsp. parsley
Sweat onion in butter or oil (about 5 minutes over med. heat) and pour in gravy and soup. If thickness is more than gravy was, add 1/4 cup milk. Stir to combine and heat through. Pour broccoli and turkey into large casserole dish. Once heated, pour mixture over meat and veg. Top with bread crumbs and parsley. Bake for 45 minutes at 400. For additional flavor, add a can of cheese soup as well!
5. Turkey Pot pie / Shepherd’s Pie
This is especially nice on the cold days to follow as it really warms the soul.
3 cups diced turkey
2 cups left-over mashed potatoes (if doing Shepherd’s pie)
2 cups par-cooked diced potatoes (if doing pot pie)
1 cup diced carrots (left-over works great)
1/2 cup diced celery
2 tbls butter with 1 tbls flour for roux (recipe follows)
2 cups stock (home made or bought)
1 cup any left over veg, even squash, for either pie works well
2 cups left over gravy (or bottled)
pastry dough for the top (Pot pie)
If a roux is needed to thicken up your mixture, more often than not only of gravy isn’t going to be used, do it easily like this: sautee onions to a nice golden color in butter. Once nicely colored, add an additional tbls. of butter and allow to melt thoroughly. Once done, add 1 tbls. flour and cook in until color is gone, drop in all of the ingredients plus 2 cups of the stock or broth you may have already made (store bought is fine) and bring to a simmer. The roux you just made will thicken the mixture. Pour ingredients into large, round casserole dish and either top with mashed potatoes (for Shepherd’s pie) or rounds of pastry dough (Pot pie). Bake at 375 for 1 hour! Yum!
4. Turkey Enchiladas
You can, as with all of these recipes, substitute chicken in place of the turkey. That’s generally how I make this one, but the turkey is even better!
10-20- small soft flour tortillas
4 cups shredded cheese (any kind)
2 cups diced turkey
1 large can enchilada sauce
1 small can mole sauce
1 cup left-over corn (or new)
1 yellow pepper diced
1 small cerranno pepper chopped fine (optional)
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/2 cup half and half
1 can refried beans
Combine turkey, mole, corn, pepper, and 1/2 can enchilada sauce in sauce pot and bring to a simmer for 1/2 hour. Meanwhile, spread refried beans on warmed through (microwaved) flour tortillas and set aside. Once meat mixture is cooled, spoon into tortillas, roll up, and place side-by-side into non-stick-sprayed casserole dish. Combine cheddar cheese soup, half and half, remainder of enchilada sauce, and 1 cup of cheese together and pour all over tortillas. Sprinkle remainder of cheese on top and bake at 375 for 1 hour. So GOOD!
3. Turkey Soup
If you have decided to make the broth or stock from above, you will need about four cups of it for this. Otherwise, one carton of store-bought chicken stock is just fine. This one is so easy, I can just spell it out without a recipe. Dice up about 2 cups of turkey and set aside. Dice up a small onion, about 2 sticks of carrot, about 2 stalks of celery, and chopped or dry parsley. Pour stock in the pot with equal the amount of water, and mix in the veg and turkey and bring to a boil and back down to a simmer for 2 hours. If you want to add noodles, do so at about the 1 hour, 45 minute mark or they will get overly soggy. You can also add 1/2 cup of rice or barley at about the 1 hour mark. Salt and pepper to taste. Very nice.
2. Turkey Chili
This varies from the standard chili recipe that generally includes tomato product and red beans in addition to the meat. This is more of a white chili.
2 cups diced turkey
3 cups broth (chicken or turkey) or 2 cup and 1 cup of beer
1 large onion diced
1 large can or jar of white, great northern, or navy beans
1 small can of black beans
1 cup left-over or canned corn
1 tsp. white pepper powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tbs. butter or oil
1 cup crushed white corn tortilla chips
Sweat over medium heat the onion in butter. Add turkey and heat through. Add white pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder and heat through for 5 more minutes. If using the beer, do so now so the little bit of alcohol can cook off, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add beans and liquid, corn, and broth. Bring to a boil and back down to a simmer for at least an hour. At the end, add the crushed chips which will thicken the chili nicely. Serve over rice or just enjoy plain.
1. Turkey Sandwiches
Yup, the penultimate classic for left-over turkey. I have no real recipe for this only to add that I love mine with mayonnaise and a tomato, but that’s just me. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!