Don’t think the Big Feed is over once you put your fork down after the last bite of pumpkin pie. It can last a few more days by creatively using the leftover turkey and trimmings.
Step 1: Prepare Thanksgiving dinner.
Step 2: Graciously accept compliments.
Step 3: Figure out a way to use up the leftovers.
Don’t think the Big Feed is over once you put your fork down after the last bite of pumpkin pie. It can last a few more days by creatively using the leftover turkey and trimmings. In fact, many families make more food than they need for the holiday so they can enjoy the excess on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
When it comes to leftover turkey, freeze what you don’t think you’ll use within a few days and start adding the rest of the turkey to dishes you normally make. Toss diced cooked turkey into scrambled eggs, lay it on pizza, throw it into soup or make a chopped turkey salad with mayo.
“Anything from sloppy Joes to spaghetti to turkey burritos, whatever you want to include a protein in is perfect for leftover turkey,” said Sherrie Rosenblatt, spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C.-based National Turkey Federation.
“For leftovers, you want to make sure you take the turkey off the bone and store it in shallow containers in the refrigerator for two to four days,” she said. It will keep three to four months in the freezer.
Refrigerate or freeze turkey within two hours of cooking. When reheating, be sure the turkey reaches a temperature of 165 degrees to kill any pathogens.
Here are recipes suitable for leftover cooked turkey, from the National Turkey Federation.
Turkey Cranberry Croissant
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cup chopped pecans
6 croissants, split
1 pound cooked turkey, thinly sliced
3/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
6 red leaf lettuce leaves, washed and chilled
In small bowl combine softened cream cheese, marmalade and pecans.
Spread cream cheese mixture on both halves of croissants. Layer turkey, cranberry sauce and lettuce on bottom half of croissant. To serve, top with other half of croissant.
Makes 6 servings.
White Turkey Chili
1 1/2 cups onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 (4-ounce) can chopped mild green chiles
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken bouillon
1 (19-ounce) can white kidney beans (cannellini), drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked turkey, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, grated
In 3-quart saucepan, over medium-high heat, saute onions and garlic in oil 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add jalapeno pepper, chiles, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper and salt. Cook 1 minute.
Stir in bouillon, beans and turkey. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in cilantro.
To serve, ladle into bowls and top with 2 tablespoons cheese.
Makes 4 servings.
Oriental Turkey Noodle Salad
1 package (3 ounces) chicken-flavored instant Oriental noodle soup mix
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/8 pound fresh snow peas
3/4 pound fully cooked oven-roasted turkey breast, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
4 ounces water chestnuts, drained and sliced
2 large fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/2 cup diagonally-cut carrots
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
Prepare soup mix according to package directions.
In small bowl combine sesame oil, soy sauce and prepared soup mix. Cover and refrigerate.
Blanch snow peas by plunging pea pods in boiling water for 45 seconds. Immediately drain and plunge into ice water.
In large bowl combine cooked turkey, water chestnuts, drained snow peas, mushrooms, carrots and green onions. Fold noodle mixture into turkey mixture.
Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
Makes 4 servings.
Polenta With Turkey and Mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound assorted fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (shiitake, cremini or button)
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, minced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 cups cooked turkey, cubed
2 cups whole milk
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Fresh tarragon leaves for garnish
In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, in hot olive oil, saute mushrooms, minced tarragon, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt until mushrooms are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Add cubed turkey and 1/3 cup water, stirring to loosen all browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a 3-quart saucepan, place 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 1/3 cups milk; gradually whisk in cornmeal until smooth. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat remaining 2/3 cup milk and 2 cups water to boiling over high heat; whisk into cornmeal mixture. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, whisking. Reduce heat to low. Cook while stirring, 5 minutes or until thick. Stir in parmesan cheese.
Serve polenta with turkey and mushroom mixture. Garnish each plate with a sprig of fresh tarragon leaves.
Makes 8 appetizers or 4 main dish servings.
Crisp Apple and Turkey Salad
2 1/4 cups cooked turkey, cubed
2 cups celery, diced
2 cups Granny Smith apples, cored and diced
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons reduced-calorie mayonnaise
2 tablespoons low-fat plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper
In large bowl, combine turkey, celery, apples and raisins.
In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt, nutmeg and cinnamon; fold into turkey mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Makes 6 servings.
Slow Cooker BBQ Turkey Sandwich
2 cups cooked turkey, skin removed
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, quartered
4 burger buns, split horizontally and toasted
Cut turkey from bones and cut into strips or cubes. Cover and reserve in refrigerator.
In a slow cooker set on high, combine vinegar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, hot sauce, salt and lemon quarters. Fold in cooked turkey pieces. Cover and cook on high 4 to 5 hours or on low 8 to 9 hours.
Remove lemon quarters.
To serve, spoon hot barbecue mixture over bottom half of toasted burger buns. Top with other half.
Kathryn Rem can be reached at email@example.com.