Saturday, November 30, 2013

Turkey leftovers

Hosting the big Thanksgiving holiday meal not only allows us to serve all our holiday favorites, but also to enjoy all those tasty leftovers in a variety of wonderful dishes.  Turkey sandwiches are a great alternative to fast food to send along with those hitting the road to journey home, while we consider some heartier options for dinner.

Turkey Gumbo has become a tradition on the day after Thanksgiving. The t turkey stock is started Thanksgiving evening as clean up after the meal progresses.  The stock is stored in the refrigerator overnight for use in the preparation of the gumbo the following morning.  The gumbo simmers on the stove all afternoon as various family members venture out to join the crowds on the busiest shopping day of the year. 


1 turkey carcass
2 turkey legs or thighs
1/2 c. bacon grease
1/2 c. cooking oil
1 c. flour
8 ribs celery, chopped
3 large onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. chopped parsley
1 lb. okra, sliced
1 c. smoked sausage, sliced
1/2 c. Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco (to taste)
12 oz. canned tomatoes
1 1/2 T. salt
4 slices bacon, cut in 1" pieces
1-2 bay leaves
cayenne (to taste)
1 t. brown sugar
1 T. lemon juice
4 c. rice, cooked

Crack the turkey carcass into several pieces.  Place the turkey carcass and legs in a soup kettle with 3 quarts of water and 1 t. salt.  Boil for 1 hour.  Remove the carcass and legs and cool.  Remove the meat from the bones and discard the bones.  Reserve the stock and meat.  In a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the grease and oil.  Add the flour, stirring constantly, and cook until dark golden brown.  Add the celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and parsley.   Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the okra and sausage and continue cooking for 5 minutes.  Add 2 quarts of the turkey stock and 2 quarts of the water, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, tomatoes, salt, bacon, bay leaves, and cayenne.  Simmer, covered, for 2 1/2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.  Add the turkey meat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Just before serving, add the brown sugar and lemon juice.   Sever in heated gumbo bowls over rice.  Serves 16-18.

A friend from high school fixed this turkey curry for us on a hot plate many years ago-simple and satisfying!


2 t.  margarine
1/2  onion, chopped
1/2 stalk  celery, thinly sliced
1/2  green pippin apple
1  chicken bouillon cube
1 c.  hot water
1/2 t.  curry powder
pinchpowdered ginger
1 c.  cooked turkey, diced
3 T.  water
1 T.  flour
1 c.  cooked rice

Suggested Condiments:
  peanuts, diced
dried coconut
green onion, sliced
avocado, diced
cucumber, peeled & diced
tomato, diced
green pepper, diced

In a small skillet, melt margarine.  Saute onion and celery in margarine.  Peel can dice apple.  Add to skillet.  Cook over low heat until onion is limp.  Dissolve bouillon cube in hot water.  Mix curry powder and ginger with bouillon to make a paste.  Add to the vegetables in the skillet.  Add turkey, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Mix water and flour to make a paste.  Add to the turkey mixture.  Cook over low heat until thickened.  Pour turkey curry over rice.  Serve with an assortment of the condiments.

Turkey enchiladas are another favorite dish using turkey leftovers.


3-4 c.      shredded cooked turkey or chicken
1    small yellow onion, chopped
1    c.       shredded cheese, plus a bit more for topping
1    can    green chile enchilada sauce
1    can    chopped green chilies
8    oz.     cream cheese
12            tortillas (flour preferred, possibly more depending on how you fill)

Preheat oven to 350.
In a large sauté pan,  sauté the onion in a bit of oil until they are soft and fragrant (right before they start to brown). Turn heat to medium and add the turkey, can of chopped green chilies and cream cheese.  Stir to combine and until the cream cheese is completely melted and incorporated into the mixture. Pour enchilada sauce into a wide-mouthed container.  Dip a tortilla into the enchilada sauce. Place the soaked tortilla into your pan and add the turkey mixture to one side of the tortilla.  Top with a bit of shredded cheese. Roll it up, keeping the seam side down. Once all the enchiladas are wrapped up, pour some of the green enchilada sauce over the top. Top with some more cheese and pop in the oven for about 30 minutes.

A dish we came to enjoy while living in Minnesota.  Byerly's upscale grocery store was generous with their recipes.   A tasty wild rice salad and a creamy wild rice soup are two of our favorites from our early days in the Midwest.


1 c. wild rice
1 t. chicken bouillon
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 lb. seedless green grapes, halved
1/2 turkey, cooked and deboned
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 t. tarragon
1 T. lemon juice

Rinse wild rice and drain.  In a heavy saucepan, bring wild rice, 4 c. water, and bouillon to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered 45-55 minutes, until kernels open and are tender, but not mushy.  Drain.  Cool.  Makes 3-4 c. cooked wild rice.
Mix wild rice with green onions, greens grapes, and chicken chunks.  Mix together mayonnaise, tarragon, and lemon juice.  Chill.  Stir into wild rice mixture.

Curried turkey (or chicken) salad served in pineapple boats was enjoyed by the family, reminding us of carefree vacation days in Hawaii.


1 fresh pineapple
4 c. diced, cooked turkey
3 bananas, sliced diagonally
3 tangerines, peeled and sectioned
(or 1 can Mandarin oranges)
3/4 c. raisins
1/2 c. salted peanuts
1/2 c. mango chutney, chopped
1 t. curry powder
1 c. mayonnaise
shredded coconut

Cut pineapple into quarters lengthwise leaving green tops on.  Cut around the edges with a curved knife to remove fruit and dice.  Drain pineapples very well on absorbent paper towels.
Combine diced pineapple, chicken, tangerine sections, raisins, and peanuts.  Chill until ready to serve.  Blend chutney, curry, and mayonnaise in a small bowl.  Lightly toss with the pineapple mixture.  Fill pineapple shells.  Garnish with shredded coconut, it desired.

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