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Now What Do You Do with the Leftovers? More Recipes

Let's talk turkey about what to do with the turkey bits.

Now that Thanksgiving dinner is over, what do you do with all the leftover turkey? Cold turkey sandwiches may be good the next day, but probably not for three days in a row, so here are some suggestions courtesy of Someone's in the Kitchen.

Turkey Breast

Turkey breasts are very tender when eaten cold, but Rose Fran, who teaches cooking classes at Someone's in the Kitchen, says reheating would make the meant too dry and stringy. Instead she recommends slicing it up and using it for a turkey salad.

Bones and Bits

For the turkey parts that you know you will not use within the week, Fran recommends wrapping it up in saran wrap, then placing it in a freezer bag.

"The whole idea is to keep the air out, so you have to squeeze it really well," Fran said.

She says remains, such as the skin, bones, drumsticks and drippings can be used to make a great stock later on. Fran recommends saving leftover drumstick for stock because the meat is difficult to remove and gets tougher when reheated.

Stock

When you are ready to make the stock, thaw out the turkey remains and place them in a large pot. You can use vegetables leftover from other meals in the stock. Fran recommends using chunks of carrots, and unpeeled garlic and onion.

"The skin from the onions and garlic will give the stock a good color," Fran said.

Be careful when salting the stock. Start out with a little bit because there is salt in vegetables such as celery and also in the leftover turkey.

Strain the stock when it cools down then pour the stock into freezer containers. Fran says the fat will come to the top and help seal the stock.

The stock can last up to three months in the freezer and can be used directly. If the stock is too salty, you can add a potato to help draw out the salt.

Thighs

Thighs are generally juicier and can be reheated in dishes such as a paella or soup.

Turkey-sausage Paella (Serves 5-6)

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked, leftover turkey meat
  • 1 pound hot Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, cut in thin strips
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 2 cups Aborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 4-5 cups broth (turkey or chicken)
  • ½ teaspoon saffron strands
  • 1 cup frozen petite peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • salt to taste

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine broth and saffron in a saucepan over low heat; bring to a simmer then remove from heat
  3. Heat a large skillet or Paella pan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan, add sausage and cook until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan with a slotted spoon
  4. Add onion, celery, carrot and ½ of pepper to pan; cook for five minutes or until lightly browned
  5. Add garlic and rice; cook for three minutes until rice is coated with oil.
  6. Add wine and paprika, cook for one minute or until liquid evaporates, scrap pan to loosen browned bits
  7. Stir in broth mixture and bring to a boil
  8. Place pan in oven, cook for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed
  9. Remove pan from oven, gently stir in sausage, turkey and peas
  10. Place pan back in the oven and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes
  11. Garnish with remaining red pepper and parsley

Turkey Noodle Soup (Serves 40

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup carrot, 1/4-inch thick slices
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup celery, ¼ inch thick slices
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups turkey broth, fat removed
  • 2 cups (3 oz) uncooked egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups shredded cooked turkey

Steps:

  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add oil, carrot, onion and garlic, sauté for five minutes
  2. Add celery, salt and pepper, sauté for three minutes
  3. Add broth, egg noodles, soy sauce and bay leaf, bring to a boil
  4. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes
  5. Add turkey and cook for three minutes
  6. Discard bay leaf
  7. Sprinkle with coarsely ground black pepper

 

Optional: garnish with fresh parsley


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