Leftovers Rule!

Okay, the last Thanksgiving-themed post: What are your favorite things to do with Thanksgiving leftovers? Please post in the comments…I’m curious!

For us, honestly, an awful lot of the food gets eaten just in its ordinary form in the days following the feast.  I pick at the cold turkey, we have “Thanksgiving Redux” for dinner the next night, and most of it gets chomped up before much time goes by.  (Pie for breakfast is an annual tradition.) But there are a few specifics:

1. Turkey Stock: First thing I do after completely picking the bird clean of all its meat is drop the carcass into my crockpot with a few carrots, some celery ribs, and a quartered onion.   Then fill it with water.  I think this year I cooked it for about 20 hours on low (the rest of the day and then overnight).  The next day I strain it into a bowl and chill it in the fridge for most of the day so the fat can solidify, then I can easily skim that off.  This year I held back some of the dark pan juices from the turkey and threw that into the stock as well.  The end result was almost four quarts of really lovely flavorful stock for making…

2. Turkey Soup! –Hardly needs instructions or recipe; saute veggies, throw stock and some cut up turkey in it, cook a while, add some noodles or rice.  Good stuff.

3. Turkey Quesadillas–Today for lunch we grilled a couple of tortillas, put some cheese, salsa, and shredded turkey on it, and heated in the microwave till the cheese melted.  Really good. (Some black beans in there would have been even better.)

4. Shepherd’s Pie–I haven’t made this one in years, mostly because I seldom have enough leftover mashed potatoes to make it happen.  Basically, you throw cut up cooked turkey and some vegetables (maybe mushrooms, celery, onions, peppers, and some of that zucchini you blanched and froze last summer?) into a casserole, pour gravy over it, spread mashed potatoes on top, maybe sprinkle with a little grated cheddar, and bake till hot through and golden on top.   This is a pretty serious and heavy meal, but it’s lovely for really cold raw nights.

If I think of other things in the next few days, I’ll update this post…but in the meantime, what do you folks do?


Posted on November 28, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. We love turkey pot pie with our leftovers!

  2. Where to begin….cold stuffing for breakfast. cold turkey sandwiches with cranberry relish. hot turkey sandwiches (using smaller pieces and lots of gravy.) turkey stock for sure – good for tortilla soup which also uses up some more turkey. turkey salad.

  3. My sister always makes a turkey pie–and a tiny pie without the turkey for me. It’s delicious!

  4. My favorite is to add some of everything – stuffing, turkey, sweet potatoes, and gravy essential! – to a cereal bowl, zap for 2-3 minutes, stir well, and eat with a spoon! My husband has turkey sandwiches including all of the above, which are also yummy. Anything else left over can go into both of these, like mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc.

    I let someone else make turkey soup if desired.

    BTW, if you don’t have enough left-over potatoes for shepherd’s pie, make a little more. You can even nuke some baking potatoes and mash those if peeling/boiling is too great a time investment (I’d probably use some ready-made or the steam-in-bag variety!).

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