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The no 'left-over' turkey suggestions

This past Thanksgiving I traveled so didn't have any leftovers. As a result I decided, even though my SO and I spent Christmas blissfully alone this year, I roasted a 10 lbs turkey with a small spread.

The next day, I made my Mom's version of SOS with some of the leftovers. (Toast with a layer of mash, turkey, smothered in turkey gravy.) As we were eating, my SO mentioned that he's never had turkey leftovers made into other things growing up. As in his Mother would just serve the same meal over and over until the leftovers were gone. So he loved the SOS.

This sparked a little game I want to play by using the rest of the turkey in new dishes so it never feels like 'leftovers.'

I'm thinking tonight I will make a turkey sandwich with stuffing, gravy, and smear of cranberry sauce. Saturday morning I'm thinking of making Kentucky hot browns, maybe turkey divan with the leftover cheese sauce for dinner. Sunday maybe turkey hash? Suggestions?

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        1. re: DragonDrumsticks

          -also a plus on the hot brown...I do turkey throughout the year just so I can do hot browns!!!

        2. I made turkey a la king and turkey rice soup this year.
          Turkey tetrazzini is also good.
          Love the idea of hot browns!

          4 Replies
            1. re: Crockett67

              It's an old classic. There are lots of recipes out there for chicken and turke a la king, but here's the Wiki explanation:

              1. re: monavano

                I have made both chicken and turkey a la king from leftover roast birds but I prefer to use raw breast meat, cubed. IME, the roast meat turns to shreds when stirred in the cream sauce. Using raw, the meat contributes flavor as it cooks in the cream sauce, and remains intact.

                I am surprised no one has mentioned croquettes, which are my main reason to roast a turkey! I include some of the stuffing in the croquettes. I shape them in patties or rolls and shallow-fry, which is less messy than the standard deep-frying. If you make a la king, you can purposely make too much cream sauce, save some, and use it as the gravy for the croquettes.

                I prefer chicken stock to turkey stock for most soups, BUT - equal parts turkey stock and beef broth is my favorite for French onion soup. I use reduced sodium Better than Bouillon beef base in this. A glug of red wine is always good, too.

            2. re: monavano

              Love tetrazzini. I ran out of turkey at T-day before getting to that, sadly.

            3. My family is partial to turkey pot pie but it might be too duplicative between the first open face sandwich you mentioned and then the hot browns.

              1 Reply
              1. re: foodieX2

                I may hold on to this one for later. I froze the carcass and let a bit of meat for picking for later.

              2. Turkey enchildas or tacos
                Turkey pot pie

                5 Replies
                1. re: Springhaze2

                  What kind of sauce would you use to wet the turkey in the tacos?

                  That may be fun!

                  1. re: Crockett67

                    I think with tacos, you could use green or red enchilada sauce (my favorite for tacos/quesadillas/enchiladas).

                    1. re: monavano

                      I like the green chili sauce idea.

                    2. re: Crockett67

                      The way I make turkey tacos is to first sauté an onion in a heavy skillet. Sometimes I throw in a minced jalapeno or Serrano but only if you like the extra heat. Then add the chopped up turkey and fry for a few minutes until the turkey starts to brown. Then sprinkle your taco seasoning over, stir, and add water to about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch. Continue to cook over med-high heat until water has evaporated and meat begins to sizzle and brown some more. Add more fat/oil if desired. Serve when it gets to your desired level of crispiness.

                      1. re: tcamp

                        I pretty much do what tcamp does. Heat some olive oil, saute an onion and jalapeno, stir in a few cloves of chopped garlic, add chopped turkey and fry for a few minutes. Add chili powder, cumin and oregano, salt and pepper, stir for a bit to coat, add about 1/2 cup or so of water and cook until water is evaporated and the meat starts to brown. Stir in chopped fresh cilantro.

                        Serve with tortillas, lettuce or chopped cabbage, tomatoes, avocados, cheese, etc. whatever else you like on your tacos.

                        Change up the type of ground chili/chili powder used to fit your taste. I like ancho or a combo of ancho and chipotle. I use a ratio of about 2 tablespoons ground chili to 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 oregano. Add garlic powder if you aren't using fresh garlic in the saute.

                        Here are some good basic recipes that you can start with, but tweak to make them your own.

                  2. Favorite use of turkey left-overs is a sandwich... white bread (butter on both slices), several THIN slices of white meat, plenty of mayo and S&P... that's it.

                    Remember Dad deciding that we should make croquettes with some of the meat. He wasn't a big fan of the dark meat and recipe I found was a good use for it.

                      1. Turkey curry. Can used mashed potatoes instead of rice. Make a cranberry-onion chutney on the side.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: DuchessNukem

                          +1 for turkey curry. I make with butternut squash and turkey, topped with slivered almonds. Also good over couscous. Like the cranberry-onion chutney idea.

                          1. re: Springhaze2

                            +2 for turkey curry.
                            My sister-in-law is Malaysian. She gave me a Malaysian cook book. Try making the 'Kari Nyonya' lime chicken but use turkey instead.
                            I don't strictly follow the recipe but I do add some of the 'exotic' ingredients. Delicious! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1412386/

                          2. re: DuchessNukem

                            Oh this is an excellent idea for me!

                            1. re: chileheadmike

                              The problem with gumbo, while delicious... it makes soo much. :/

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                I made Turkey Shepard's Pie after Thanksgiving. It was sooooo good. Definitely staying on my must do list! With the mashed potatoes, I also added roasted garlic, soft cream cheese and whole milk and whipped. Oh, so yummy.

                              2. We do what we call a Thanksgiving Pot Pie, using any random combination of leftovers that I feel like. This year, we combined stuffing, gravy, creamed spinach, and peas into the mix. Topped with good quality cheddar at the last minute. Served with the leftover cranberry sauce on the side.

                                1 Reply
                                1. Here's a link from this year http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/926098. There are a lot more I searched through on this site as well. This year I had a ton of leftovers which appeared in - frittata, marinara sauce, taco salad, enchiladas, club sandwiches, buffalo hot sauce and blue cheese wraps, chicken soup and stroganoff.

                                  1. I just used some in breakfast burritos. Chopped and sautéed with spinach, bacon and smoked paprika. Tonight we are having a stir fry with some of the white meat and I'm chopping up dark meat to add to a steamed dumpling mixture. I love leftovers and am wishing we had roasted a bigger bird.

                                    1. If you really want to blow your SO's mind, make Nigella's Vietnamese shredded turkey slaw. Toss the shredded turkey with shredded red and white cabbage and finely sliced onion. Make a nuoc cham dressing that is nuoc mam, water, lime juice, and sugar (I also like to add sambal olek to it). Toss. You would never guess it was a leftover dish.

                                      1. Turkey croquettes are mighty tasty.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                          I mentioned them upthread, and wanted to report yesterday's successful variation (chicken, but it applies regardless): I had made chicken salad from the entire breast of a roasted chicken and while the sandwiches were good, after 4 times I was ready to move on. I used the remaining chicken salad instead of plain cooked meat when making croquettes. Just chicken salad, an egg, a little sweated onion, and leftover stuffing as the filler. I shape them as patties, dip-and-crumb them, and pan-fry in minimal oil. These were at least as good as the regular kind, maybe better, and stretched what would have been 2 sandwiches into 3 croquette portions.

                                        2. This from Nigella Lawson has always sparked excitement at my house:


                                          and most of the stuff (including the noodles) is stuff I'm apt to have on hand, except the snow peas. And since they can be hard to find on short notice at a local grocery store, I've thrown in shredded cabbage without my conscience bothering me one bit.

                                          1. My standard is to fill a baking dish with stuffing (if there's none left over use Stove Top) and put slices of turkey on top of it and cover with gravy (used the jar kind if you don't have any) and freeze this as a ready dinner a month or two from now. You may be sick of turkey and stuffing now but on some busy night you will be overjoyed to find this. It won't "feel like leftovers". It will feel more like rescue.

                                            On the other hand, if you long to manufacture something, get the Crescent Roll dough that comes in one big solid rectangle, chop up your turkey, and be creative---jelly-roll style, turnovers, with or without curry powder, whatever---go to town.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Querencia

                                              I have a similar recipe from a magazine, calling for layers of mashed sweet and/or regular potato, stuffing, turkey, and gravy, with a little dollops of cranberry sauce randomly throughout, covered with a cream gravy and baked.

                                            2. This bread recipe from King Arthur Flour makes really good turkey sandwiches. It's an herb bread that tastes like stuffing. Really good.
                                              Thanksgiving Stuffing Loaf

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Antilope

                                                I have been making this bread machine version of the same recipe for the last 20 years. I generally make it just for making the dressing. But it is great for sandwiches too.


                                              2. My favorite things to do with leftover turkey are:

                                                Sandwiches - my favorite is turkey, cream cheese and cranberry sauce, with a little mayo and maybe some lettuce

                                                Soup - turkey noodle or rice, I just tried a turkey barley soup this year that was really good. Also, a white turkey chili.

                                                Mexican lasagna - this is a layered dish with corn tortillas, cheese and the meat mixture, which is turkey, onions, olives, a jar of green salsa, taco seasoning and a can of green enchilada sauce.

                                                1. Thanks everyone! I ran out of leftovers before trying them all. Did the turkey over toast and mash, turkey sandwiches with stuffing and cranberry sauce, Kentucky hot browns, and turkey divan. For the last dish, when he said he never had Turkey Tetrazzini it was deiced.

                                                  You all made me a hero and thank you for inspiring and encouraging me on!