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Post T-day Turkey Leff-overs

Looks like there's going to be a lot of leftovers at my house. Full bird but only 5 diners. Even after handing out a couple of "to-go" plates I see a lot of turkey.

Beyond sandwiches, reheated plates, jook (congee) or soup, what do you do with a bunch of turkey?

The only thing different I thought about were tamales which a family friend use to make...but is probably beyond my involvement...knowing they might only turn out only okay.

Any cool ideas or a family traditions with left over turkey?

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  1. Save the carcass and make turkey stock. Use the stock to make risotto (Do you have arborio rice in the house?) and use the little pieces of turkey in the risotto. Other leftovers such vegetables can be added to rice dish. Play it by ear...improvise.

    Just like chili, there are loads of ways to make risotto.

    1. This is our family tradition, paseed down from my Mom...and the only time I ever have Miracle Whip in the house. I hate the stuff, but it works in this recipe.

      HOT TURKEY SALAD - serves 8-10
      3 cups cooked turkey, diced in bite size pieces
      1-1/2 cups chopped celery
      2T grated onion
      4 hard boiled eggs (sliced)
      1 small jar pimento (I use finely chopped red pepper instead)
      1 small package slivered almonds
      1 cup Miracle Whip (**see note below)
      1 cup grated Jack cheese
      2 T lemon juice
      salt and pepper to taste
      potato chips

      Mix together all ingredients and pour in medium size casserole which is very lightly greased. Sprinkle crushed potato chips over top. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes. This is best if it stands in refrigerator for a few hours before re-heating.

      **Note on Miracle Whip -- We hate the stuff on sandwiches and anywhere else, but for some reason it works really well in this recipe. If you really don’t want to try it, go ahead and substitute mayonnaise, but it won’t be the same.

      1. My dad would always make turkey tacos. He would shred the turkey and let it sit in some reserved tukey stock. I think he would then puree it with some garlic & spices..maybe a chipotle pepper. He would then fill the corn tortillas(always fresh from my grandma's hands). Seal them up with toothpicks & fry them up.
        My brothers would fry big strips like fried chicken & make sandwiches with those.

        1. I love me some turkey pot pie. Mmmmm...

          1 Reply
          1. I am looking forward to Hot Browns. They are an open faced sandwich. Toast, sliced turkey, could be a slice of country ham or not, hot cheese sauce, grated parmesan and a couple of strips of crisp bacon run under the broiler until browned and bubbly. A slice of tomato is good if you have any edible tomatoes available. Sandwich originated at the Brown Palace in Louisville now known as the Camberly Brown. Yum! Great stuff.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Candy

              Oooh, Candy, that sounds SO good!

              1. re: rcallner

                It is not hard and so yummy. Here is a link http://whatscookingamerica.net/Sandwi... but if you Google up Hot Brown Sandwich you will find a number of recipes. Homemade pizza tonight with no turkey. Hot Browns for dinner Sunday PM

            2. Turkey Enchiladas for us...we love Mexican food after Thanksgiving!

              1. Sandwiches with cranberry sauce. Tacos with mole. Mmmmm.

                1. Curried turkey soup. Though turkey's certainly not traditional with curry it has the robustness to really shine in the spices. Add lots of veggies and rice or barley.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lintygmom

                    pasta, ravioli and soup:) and ofcourse my thanksgiving sandwich

                  2. Tamales!

                    Buy masa at a grocery already made: 'Masa Preparada para tamales'.

                    Soften dried corn husks in very hot water to cover for 45 min.

                    Moisten shredded cooked turkey meat with mole, salsa or green chili sauce and add other sauteed veggies.

                    Spread masa on 2/3 of middle 4" of corn husk interior. Place about 1 1/2 T of filling on masa.

                    Fold over side of husk to cover masa/meat, then fold up pointed end.

                    Stand tamales shoulder-to-shoulder on their folded ends, upright, in a big deep pot. Add broth to about 1 1/2" and cover tightly. Steam for about 2 hours. Check broth level; don't let pot go dry. Test one to make sure masa is steamed (should be sort of like cooked polenta) I looove the testing part.

                    Cool slightly, unwrap and serve with guacamole, crema, and salsa.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: toodie jane

                      Thanks for the tamale recipe. I just might try it given the ready made masa. That was the biggest fear really. Everything else seems relatively straightfoward.

                    2. Second turkey pot pies. They freeze well, and are really appreciated a little later, like in the busy time before the next big holiday.

                      1. Biscuits and turkey gravy.

                        1. My personal favorite, Turkey Tetrazzini -
                          1 can cream of chicken soup
                          1 can cream of mushroom soup
                          2 cups chicken broth
                          1 tbs worcstershire sauce
                          1/4 cup dry sherry
                          2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
                          4 cups diced turkey
                          1 lb cooked spaghetti
                          parmesan cheese
                          bread crumbs

                          Bring first five ingredients to a simmer, remove from heat and add cheddar cheese. Toss spaghetti with turkey and half of the sauce in a large casserole, then spread the rest of the sauce on top. Sprinkle with parmesan and bread crumbs and bake for 40 minutes at 350. Yum.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Lono37

                            Sounds great. one of my favorite treats as a teen babysitting was Stouffer's frozen turkey tetrazini. Seemed so *gourmet* to this then 14-year old (we never had frozen dinners at home!) How about some celery in there?
                            Can you freeze it a la Stouffer's?

                            1. re: NYchowcook

                              I have frozen/reheated with great success. I'm not a big celery fan, but I have added peas/mushrooms and they work well. I'm sure some sauteed celery would work out OK.

                          2. I have an outrageous amount of turkey leftover. Can someone share their recipe for turkey a la king or pot pie?

                            1. Me too. Need a good pot pie recipe as I have a pie crust left over too.

                              1. I don't have an exact recipe--I usually use a combination of recipes, making individual 2 crust whole wheat pies in ramekins, and using whatever veggies I want, which usually includes diced potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms, & peas, with fresh chopped parsley or other fresh herbs to my liking, & s & p, in a creamy sauce, plus turkey.

                                While I couldn't find anything quite like mine, here are several you could adapt to your needs--for instance, I have leftover creamed purple pearl onions which are going in mine this time. You could use leftover gravy, too. I personally will leave out leftover sweet potatoes & mashed potatoes, but some use them. I'm also saving my gravy for the leftover taters. It's a recipe with endless varieties--have fun.




                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Babette

                                  thanks! I'm going to give these turkey pot pies a whirl. Maybe even transform into turkey terrazini!

                                2. We made an amazing Post-Thanksgiving Brunch Hash:

                                  Sauteed onions, diced turkey, stuffing and vegis (all leftovers) all together in a large saucepan adding a little stock and olive oil to add moisture.

                                  Topped it on each plate with 2 poached eggs and a touch of cranberry sauce on the side (kind of like a chutney or relish).

                                  The guy on the Today show added Bernaise sauce but it was plenty rich enough without it for our tastes.

                                  It's going to be a new traditon at our house!

                                  1. Thanks for the responses. Besides taking a try at tamales I also came upon a really quick fix: shepard's pie.

                                    In a Corningware bowl, place gravy, turkey, veggies, cranberry, stuffing and top w/ mashies. Cook/brown in oven. Yeah, it's really a sort of turkey bowl really but shepards pie in this form is reasonably traditional...mainly it's easy. Freeze-able as well.