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Ideas for leftover turkey

Famartin, Wikimedia Commons

Use leftover turkey to make delicious pot pies.


This Thanksgiving, for the first time ever, I am serving a turkey that weighs less than 15 pounds.

I usually search for the biggest one I can find. One year, I got one so large I had trouble securely closing the oven door, so I had to rig up something to hold it closed: a broomstick. My sons still tease me about that.

Maybe this year I will not have so much leftover turkey meat, but if you find yourself wondering what to do with post-Thanksgiving leftover turkey, here are a few ideas.

Turkey pot pie

1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup butter

1 onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1 cup turkey or chicken broth

2/3 cup milk or cream

1 large potato, peeled, diced and cooked

1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, defrosted

2 cups leftover turkey meat

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 double pie crust

1. Preheat oven to 400. Whisk egg with 1 tablespoon water; set aside.

2. Cook onion in butter over medium-low heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add flour, poultry seasoning, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes more.

3. Whisk in milk or cream and broth, a little at a time, stirring after each addition. It will seem thick at first but will smooth out. Bring to a boil over medium heat, simmer 1 minute and remove from heat. Stir in turkey and vegetables.

4. Line a 9-inch pie plate that has been lightly greased and floured with one of the crusts and fill with turkey filling. Brush edges of crust with some of the egg wash and top with second crust. Pinch edges to seal and cut a few slits to vent steam. Brush the top with remaining egg wash.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned and filling is bubbling. Cool 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into servings. Makes 6 dinner-sized servings.

Turkey chili

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 can (15-oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (14.5-oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

2/3 cup water

1 package chili seasoning mix

2 cups chopped cooked turkey

Suggested toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, diced avocado

1. Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp.

2. Stir in black beans, tomatoes, water and seasoning mix; bring mixture to a boil.

3. Add turkey, reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with desired toppings. Makes 4 servings.

Turkey soup with couscous

Using the turkey carcass to make broth is a good idea; add some celery and onion scraps to the pot, and perhaps a bay leaf. For the pearl couscous, you may have to order it online if you don’t have access to an international market. (Or just use noodles instead.)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 onion or 2 shallots, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

6 cups turkey broth or stock

1/2 cup giant pearl couscous

2 cups cooked turkey, chopped

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1. Saute chopped onion, celery, carrot and garlic clove with leaves stripped from the thyme sprigs, in oil and butter over low heat for 5 minutes. Add turkey broth, turkey meat and bay leaves; bring to a boil, then simmer until all the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Add the couscous (or use noodles instead) and cook 10 minutes over medium heat until couscous is tender. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve. Makes 6 servings.

Turkey posole

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 large poblanos, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons dried cumin

3 tablespoons tomato paste

6 cups turkey or chicken broth

1 can (29-oz.) hominy, rinsed

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

2 cups leftover shredded turkey

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for serving

Corn tortilla strips, radishes, avocado, cotija cheese (or Monterey Jack) and lime wedges, for serving

1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and poblanos and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

2. Stir in garlic and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

3. Stir in broth, hominy and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

4. Add turkey and cilantro and simmer until turkey is heated through, about 3 minutes. Serve topped with tortilla strips, radishes, extra cilantro, avocado, cheese, and a squeeze of lime, if desired. Makes 4 servings.


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