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Jul 28, 2007 05:12 AM

Half a turkey - what to do? Gumbo?

I have half of a (roasted/cooked) huge turkey that I need to do something with TODAY. I was thinking of making gumbo, though I have never made gumbo before. Any other ideas what I can do with all of this bird today (I can't freeze it... it was already frozen and now has thawed)? (Any and all recipes appreciated!)

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  1. Gumbo can be alot of work, but it is a good idea for your half turkey.
    Try a recipe from The Gumbo Pages by Chuck Taggert.

    Personally, I like Turkey Salad. Make a bunch of little finger sandwiches & invite some friends over to play cards. They will go quickly. Whole or half sandwiches will not go as fast. There is something about little finger sandwiches that can make you eat more than you imagine you could.

    Turkey enchiladas also sound tasty. I would make a few dishes rather than just one.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Isabella

      turkey soup (which you can then freeze)
      turkey tetrazzini

      1. re: cheesemonger

        I second cheesemonger's suggestion. The first thing I thought of was tetrazzini. Or you could make turkey and dumplings, although I wouldn't freeze the dumplings, just make more after thawing. I think Isabella has the right idea with making several dishes instead of one. Turkey pot pie sounds fantastic too.

      2. re: Isabella

        My main turkey leftover meal is a pot pie. Absolutely delicious and simple: make (or buy) a 2-crust pie. Cook some onions in butter or oil, add some celery if you have on hand, fresh peas and carrots (or just add frozen to the completed filling). Mix the shredded turkey with the veggies and onion, and smother in your favorite white sauce. Pour the filling into the crust, lay over the top crust, and bake.

        Let us know what you make!

      3. I always loved turkey soup; cut off as much meat as you can from the carcass,
        and simmer the bones with whatever's left on them in water along with a bay leaf
        or two, and some whole peppercorns, slightly cracked. Skim off any scum that
        might rise to the top while the stock is cooking. Meanwhile, chop and saute
        some onion and celery, and peel and cut some carrots and turnip into chunks.

        After the stock has simmered for an hour or two, strain, and put in the fridge to
        let the fat rise to the top so you can remove it. Now, add the reserved meat and vegetables, some salt and pepper to taste, and simmer until the carrots and turnips are soft. This makes a very light soup (which I feel I need after a heavy turkey dinner the previous day), which goes great with a nice salad.

        1. I also have a turkey that needs to be used up. Here are some of my plans.

          Turkey Salad: made with mayo, red onion, pickled jalapenos, cilantro and a little chopped celery. Use for sandwiches or stuffed tomatoes or avocadoes.

          Creamy Turkey Enchiladas: cut up turkey, caramelized onions, roasted red bell peppers, cilantro, moistened with green enchilada sauce and cream cheese. Rolled up in flour tortillas and covered with green enchilada sauce and grated cheese.

          Chinese Turkey Noodle Soup: all the usual suspects then flavored with some sesame oil, soy sauce, and garlic chile paste.

          White Bean Chili: cut up dark meat turkey, chicken broth, white beans, canned green chiles, cilantro, onions, dried oregano and ground cumin, simmered until nice and thick.

          Turkey Jambalaya: again the usual suspects using cooked turkey, and I like to add some sliced green olives and capers.

          Asian Lettuce Wraps: chopped turkey, cabbage, green onions, sprouts, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, ginger, mushrooms; everything chopped finely and sauteed, then add cooked turkey, also finely chopped, season with some soy, sesame oil, a little mirin, oyster sauce. On your lettuce leaf or tortilla, smear a little hoisin sauce, roll up and eat.
          Curried Turkey Salad: you know the type, one of those layered kinds you make ahead, and then mix the next day.
          There are more if you need some, and if you need specific recipes just holler and I will post them here for you.
          Edited to add, make some turkey stock with the carcass.

          Good luck! Dawn

          1. I agree with TheJeffNextDoor! Whenever I have leftover whole turkey, it's pot pie time. Usually, I end up looking forward to that meal more than the original! If you have other leftovers from this meal, i.e. potatoes, carrots, gravy, etc., those can be used to bulk up your filling. If you do not, you may want to consider a little bacon (it really does make everything better), cheese, sauteed onions, mushroooms, more cheese, or something healthier, like broccoli, garlic, spinach/kale/chard. As for crust, I always have a little pie dough or puff pastry in the freezer for this such occasion. They are both easily found in the freezer isle if you don't feel like making it.

            OOH! Or toss out both those ideas and make a turkey b'stilla. Shred that turkey and mix it with chopped almonds, sauteed onions and a little garlic, one to two whole eggs, a pinch of cinnamon (yes, I know, sounds odd) a little salt and black pepper to taste. Put it in a pie dish and top with a few layers of phyllo dough. Bake that off and enjoy an underappreciated Middle Eastern delicacy!

            And let us know what you make!

            1. My Mom makes delicious seafood gumbo (seafood, notice no chicken or chicken stock added), even though I've had good gumbo made from chicken stock.

              SEAFOOD GUMBO

              3/4 c. Chopped onion
              2 - 3 bay leaves
              3/4 c. Chopped celery
              4 lbs. Shrimp (de-headed of course)
              1 stick butter
              1 lb. Crab meat (claw meat)
              A can tomatoes (chopped well)

              Sauté onions and celery in a stick of butter. Cook until tender - stirring constantly so they don’t burn. Add this to about 2 quarts of water in a pot. Add 1 can tomatoes (chopped up), salt (about 1 tablespoon), and pepper. Let cook about ½ hour. Put 2 or 3 bay leaves in . Add seafood. Cook about 15 minutes. In sep. pan, brown flour in oil to make a roux (make sure oil is hot first, then add flour and STIR CONSTANTLY so that the roux does not burn. When it is the consistency you like, and dark brown add to gumbo mixture and let cook about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle about 2 tablespoon's of FILE on top. Stir after FILE has dissolved.