Recipes For Thanksgiving Leftovers


Happy Thanksgiving! By the time you read the paper, you’re either stuffed or wondering what to do with the leftovers. My favorite leftover turkey “sandwich” consists of two Romaine lettuce leaves each filled with pieces of turkey seasoned with salt and pepper, slathered with mayonnaise, and topped with cranberry sauce. I eat it with my fingers while standing over the sink! Yikes, true confessions of a chef. Yummy.

For food safety sake, be sure all the stuffing is out of the turkey and remove all the meat from the carcass. Refrigerate everything in its own container or plastic bag overnight.

To make turkey stock: Place the turkey carcass in a large stockpot along with chopped fresh carrot, celery, and onion, add enough cold water to completely cover everything by about four inches. Cover the pot, set it over high heat and bring it to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat and simmer about one and a half hours. Set it off the heat to cool. Strain out the vegetables and bones, and separate the pieces of meat to use in a salad, soup or casserole. Taste the broth; add salt and pepper according to personal preference. If it seems bland, set the pot back on the stove, bring to a boil and simmer until it is reduced by about one-quarter the amount of liquid. Taste again and adjust the seasonings. Cool the stock and store in clean containers in the refrigerator for three to four days or freeze for up to two months.

These oven-baked turkey quesadillas make it easy to serve several people at once. Feel free to add different spices or vegetables to the recipe for lunch on Friday or Saturday.

If you like chicken and rice soup, you’ll love this two-step soup recipe using the leftover rice stuffing (from 11/9/2017 Seasonal Chef column) with turkey stock. It is so simple because you’ve done the work before.

A reader requested we publish the turkey hash recipe from my 1992 column. Thanks for asking; I always look forward to serving hash for supper on Saturday night after playing sports all afternoon. Add a green salad and pour a crisp sauvignon blanc or pinot noir to complete the meal. Happy Thanksgiving leftovers. Bon appétit!Oven-Baked Turkey Quesadillas(Serves 4)About 4 cups turkey pulled apart or cut into small bite-sized pieces

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon dry coriander

About 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional: A pinch of cayenne pepper

About 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

4 large flour tortillas (about 8-inches in diameter)

Olive oil spray

1 to 1 and 1/3 cups grated or shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack cheese, or pepper jack

Optional: 1 ripe, firm avocado, sliced thinTo prepare:In a mixing bowl, add turkey, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper and toss until it is coated and set aside.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, coat the bottom with oil and the sauté onion and garlic until aromatic, about one minute. Add the bell peppers and sauté until they begin to soften, about two to three minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a separate bowl.

In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add seasoned turkey, oil if necessary and sauté, about three to four minutes. Add the turkey to vegetables and toss. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Spread the mixture out on a platter or tray to completely cool.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Coat with oil a baking pan that will fit all the quesadillas in one layer and heat in the oven while assembling the quesadillas.

Divide the filling among the tortillas, covering half of the surface. Top with avocado and sprinkle with cheese, fold in half and press down gently but firmly.

Remove the tray from the oven. Transfer the quesadillas onto the tray (it will sizzle) and bake for eight to nine minutes.

Turn the quesadillas over with a spatula, press down again and bake until they are crispy, about eight minutes longer.

Remove from the oven and serve at once.Leftover Brown And White Rice Stuffing 
With Mushrooms 
And Spinach Soup(Serves 4)6 cups chicken or turkey stock, simmering (per above)

About 2 1/2 cups leftover rice, mushroom, spinach, and sundried tomato stuffing (From 11/9/2017 Seasonal Chef column)

1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, cut into chiffonade (thin slivers) for garnishTo prepare:In a large saucepan over high heat, add turkey stock and bring to a boil.

Stir in the leftover rice stuffing and reheat until simmering.

For thicker soup, add more stuffing for thin soup, add more stock or water.

Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Ladle into warm soup bowls and garnish with slivered spinach.Turkey Hash, Country Style(Serves 6)2 tablespoons butter and/or olive oil combo

1 large onion, chopped

3 large baking potatoes peeled and cubed,

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

2 tablespoons each fresh sage and parsley, chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 to 4 cups cubed turkey meat

1 cup whole milkTo prepare:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In an ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) over moderate-high heat, melt butter and oil.

Add onion and sauté until aromatic, about one to two minutes.

Add potatoes and sauté until they are brown on the edges, and nearly cooked, stirring often.

Add turkey, herbs, salt and pepper and sauté until about five minutes longer.

Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Pour milk over the whole affair, bring to a boil, and place the skillet in oven and bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven, place on a heatproof trivet in center of the table and serve directly from the skillet.

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