Terrific Turkey

December 9, 2011
More by this author
Three Recipes for Leftover Turkey

It’s Thanksgiving. You and your family are gathered together. There are mashed potatoes, rolls, and mmm… turkey. Everyone loves the turkey, but what will happen to it when your meal is finished? Will it be thrown away?

Don’t let it go to waste. Use these three recipes to enjoy the leftovers. I always love turkey pot pie, and turkey soup is always great. The turkey, cranberry, and Fontina Panini looked like a new spin on the classic turkey sandwich. Enjoy!

Dutch-Style Turkey Pot Pie
Total time: 3 hrs. 45 min
Prep: 25 min
Cook: 3 hrs. 20 min
Servings: 6
Level: Intermediate


4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/4 tablespoons baking powder

4 1/2 teaspoons sugar

3 teaspoons fine salt

3 3/4 cups heavy cream, chilled

1 (5 to 6-pound) bone-in turkey breast

6 cups chicken stock

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 carrots, peeled and cut into a large dice

1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into a large dice

1 parsnip, peeled and cut into a large dice

1 purple-topped turnip, peeled and cut into a large dice

1 onion, diced

2 cups quartered cremini mushrooms

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Make the Biscuits:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. While stirring with a wooden spoon, slowly pour the cream into the center of the bowl, and continue mixing until a dough just forms. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 3/4-inch thick rectangle. Cut the dough into 6 large, equal-sized squares and transfer them to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to use. (The biscuit may be prepared up to day in advance.)
Make the Filling:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the turkey breast in large roasting pan, cover with the chicken stock, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Roast until just cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the breast reads 165 degrees F. Transfer the turkey breast to plate and let cool. Pull the turkey into small pieces and set aside.
Transfer the chicken stock to a saucepan, bring to a boil, and reduce to 1 1/2 cups.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small saucepan. In another roasting pan, toss together the carrot, rutabaga, parsnip, and turnip with the butter and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Roast until browned and tender, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the reduced chicken stock, bring to boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, bake the biscuits until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Stir the cream into the sauce and return to a boil. Stir in the pulled turkey, roasted vegetables, onion-mushroom mixture, thyme, and parsley. Season the filling with salt and pepper, to taste. (The filling may be prepared up to 3 days in advance, and reheated before serving.)
Divide the hot filling among 6 warmed 12-inch wide bowls. Place a biscuit in the center of each and serve immediately.
Next day Turkey Soup
Total time: 2 hrs. 30 min
Prep: 30 min
Cook: 2 hrs.
Servings: 6 to 8
Level: Easy


2 quarts chicken broth

1 turkey carcass, all meat removed

1 onion, halved, plus 1 onion, minced

1 carrot, halved lengthwise, plus 1 carrot, minced

1 whole stalk celery, plus 1 more stalk, minced

2 bay leaves

3 cups dark turkey meat

2 garlic cloves, smashed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 carrot, minced

1 stalk celery, minced

3 cups leftover cooked Thanksgiving side vegetables (Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, green beans)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
Put chicken broth, turkey, onion halves, carrot halves, 1 celery stalk, and 1 bay leaf in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer about 1 1/2 hours. Finely dice the remaining onion, carrot and celery and reserve.
Dice the turkey meat. Make sure meat pieces are no larger than the size of a soup spoon. (If preparing soup the next day, be sure to store leftover turkey meat in an airtight container before placing it in the refrigerator, top with 1 or 2 ladles full of broth to keep meat moist.)
Before straining broth, remove large bones and carcass with tongs. Strain the broth through a sieve, covered with wet cheese cloth. Discard the solids. Transfer broth to a bowl set in a bath of ice water, which will cool the broth quickly and help keep it fresher longer. This can be done the night before and stored in the refrigerator until the next day.
In a large soup pot, heat garlic cloves in the olive oil. Allow to brown slightly and add minced carrots, celery, and onion. Sweat over medium-low heat until softened, about 7 or 8 minutes.
Dice the leftover vegetables (here Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and green beans). Add the chopped sage to the soup pot along with the turkey broth and the remaining bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. When simmering, add Brussels sprouts, green beans and diced turkey meat to the soup. Bring it back up to a simmer. Finally, add the sweet potatoes to the center, and gently push them down. Turn the heat off and cover. Allow to sit and steam for 5 to 7 minutes.
Let simmer for 5 more minutes and serve.

Turkey, Cranberry, and Fontina Panini
Total time: 50 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 40 min
Servings: 4 sandwiches
Level: Easy


8 slices whole-grain bread

6 ounces thinly sliced Fontina cheese

8 ounces sliced leftover turkey

1/2 cup leftover cranberry relish

1 cup arugula leaves

Extra-virgin olive oil
For each sandwich, lay 2 slices bread on a work surface. Lay about 3/4 ounce cheese on one slice of the bread; top with 2 ounces turkey meat, 2 tablespoons relish, about 5-6 arugula leaves and an additional 3/4 ounce cheese. Top with the other bread slice (there should be cheese next to each bread slice). Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Brush the top of the sandwich with olive oil; heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Put the sandwich, oiled-side down, into the pan, place a small heavy pan, or aluminum foil-wrapped brick on top of the sandwich to press it down. Cook until bread is golden and crisp and cheese is beginning to melt, about 5 minutes. Remove the heavy pan or brick, brush the top of the sandwich with oil and carefully flip it. Put the heavy pan or brick back on top of the sandwich and continue cooking until bottom bread slice is browned and crisp, cheese is melted, and sandwich is heated through, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the pan and cover to keep warm while cooking the remaining sandwiches.
To serve, slice each sandwich on the diagonal and serve warm.

All of these recipes are excellent ways to keep turkey from going to waste. I know that there are some people who aren’t lucky enough to have good food to eat. Enjoy your blessings. Meals made of leftovers are tasty, sometimes even better than the original meal. I know that when I eat something delicious, I look forward to eating the leftovers later in the week.

Wasting leftovers is like throwing away money. Who would throw money away? I certainly wouldn’t! I don’t think anyone would. In this economy, it is even more important to watch every penny. Eating leftovers will save you the cost of at least one meal per week, maybe two. That’s a nice chunk of change to put into your pocket. You should appreciate the leftovers, like I do.

Use these recipes to make leftover meals scrumptious, instead of throwing them in the garbage. Be thankful for what you have, and find another use for it. You’ll be glad you did.

Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback