Tuesday, November 15

What to do with leftover turkey

If you roast a turkey, you're probably going to have leftovers. It's just a fact. We're not very good with leftovers at my house: Jack says I package and refrigerate leftovers just so I can throw them out weeks later after they've turned into science experiments.

But turkey?? That's a different story!

First of all, you can use leftover meat that's been carved to make the best sandwiches. If you've made homemade cranberry sauce (and you should--just follow the directions on the package of cranberries!), use the cranberry sauce as a condiment on your sandwiches. Divine.

Or you can make Kentucky Hot Browns--the wonderful dish originated and made famous at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Here's the recipe if you've never tried this dish--it's delicious!

As for that big old turkey carcass, you can use it to make a couple of delicious dishes. First, put the whole turkey carcass in a soup pot, cover with water, and boil the water. After the water is boiling merrily, turn down the heat to a low boil. Cook on low for a long time--four to eight hours. You'll create lots of delicious turkey stock.

Remove the turkey from the water. Pour the stock through a strainer. When the turkey has cooled, pick all the meat off the bones. You'll be surprised at how much meat is there! Now you can use the meat and stock to make wonderful turkey soup or turkey pot pie.

For soup, I put the turkey meat back into the stock and simmer. I add spices to taste (usually just salt and pepper). I add some flour to thicken the stock a bit. I also add carrots and celery; you can add whatever vegetables you like. Toward the end of the cooking time, I add egg noodles or rice.

To make turkey pot pie, I follow the same procedure as for making soup, but I add more flour to make a thicker gravy. Then I pour the gravy into a baking dish, cover with biscuits, and bake in a 400 degree oven until the biscuits are nice and brown.

My boys love this dish; it's a special treat!

What do you do with turkey leftovers?


  1. Turkey pot pie is such a great idea for leftovers! We usually don't have any leftovers because we have a big family thing. Jason has been wanting to fry a turkey forever and if he makes on just for us there will be a ton of leftovers though!

  2. I think the leftovers are my favorite! I always make turkey stew with tons of veggies. I also simmer the carcass for hours to make this...and to thicken it I add the leftover gravy (how's that for calories!!)

  3. I love the smell of a simmering turkey carcass late in the afternoon of Thanksgiving or Christmas. I even have a special gargantuan stock pot for the two (!) carcasses i get busy with.
    I love making turkey tortilla soup and turkey enchiladas are our staple for the day after thanksgiving...Life is not complete without it...

  4. Mmmmm. Looks delicious!

    And why do I NOT find it hard to believe that you actually do use cloth napkins every night?

  5. I'm looking forward to trying the Post-Thanksgiving panini I read about in Williams-Sonoma, complete with cranberry sauce and stuffing. My little ones think they're at Panera Bread whenever I make Panini - an added bonus!

    Happy Thanksgiving, Richella!

  6. I look forward to turkey noodle soup after each Thanksgiving. Mama always lets me have her turkey carcass to use. This year I'll have my own because I'm making a turkey of my own before Thanksgiving so I'll have lots of turkey meat to enjoy. I'll have to try your pot pie recipe.

  7. Looks delicious!! I'll have to remember that for next year. In fact I printed it off! Since my wife is vegetarian all the meat cooking, and especially the Thanksgiving turkey cooking, falls to me. (How autumnal...) Now I'll be prepared to deal with the leftovers post haste: throw the carcass in a pot and boil it!!! Then make pot pie!!! Yum!! Thanks bunches for good munches!!


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