Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Recipe Tuesday - Thanksgiving (Leftovers) Edition

I've decided that today's Recipe Tuesday is going to recipes for leftover Turkey and other leftovers, since everyone's going to need the ideas later this week. We always have so many leftovers, even though we only usually cook a six pound turkey breast. We love the leftovers almost as much as we enjoy the Thanksgiving dinner its self. Because we like them so much, we plan ahead to have leftovers, so then we can make some of our favorite meals out of them. When I put together the turkey in the slow cooker, I always make sure that I put in the potatoes and carrots, even though we don't serve those with dinner. The reason that I cook them is to have them leftover to use in recipes on Friday or Saturday.

Our favorite leftover recipe is Turkey Pot Pie. It's very simple to make and can use up all your leftovers at once, if that's what you'd like to do. You start by picking all the meat off the turkey after dinner, shredding it and cleaning out any unsavory bits. Then put the meat and the leftover veggies in the fridge, along with your dinner leftovers.

The next day or that weekend, when it's time to put the pot pies together, put the leftover turkey meat in a large mixing bowl. Then cut up the roasted veggies into small size chunks and add them. If you have leftover green beans, you can add them, but I'll warn you, I don't know if leftover green bean casserole would be good, we only have plain green beans. But if you're feeling adventurous, throw the leftover casserole in. The mushroom soup will add some creaminess. Corn is an absolute must. If you have leftover corn that's good, but plan to have a can of corn to add, just in case. Drain the corn before adding. I've never put in the leftover stuffing, but I'm sure it would be a hit.

Mix all this together, and if you have leftover gravy, throw that in too. If not, add a jar of turkey gravy to the mix. You can add gravy until the filling is the consistency you like in pot pie. All you have to do after it's mixed together is put it all in a pie shell and top it off with the upper crust. Homemade pie crust would be better, of course, but what goes on in your kitchen won't kill me. Bake at 350 degrees until the pie shell is browned and the filling is heated through, 30-40 minutes usually. Let it rest for 10-20 minutes after you take it from the oven before you cut into it. It's great served with the leftover cranberry sauce, too.

This freezes very easily. You can separate the filling into freezer bags and then thaw and put into a fresh crust when you want to bake it. Or you can make the entire pie and freeze it uncooked. Just let it thaw in the fridge and bake as usual. Lots of times, I'll make lots and lots of minature versions of the pot pie in the small pyrex dishes. You just roll out smaller crusts, fill, top, and then wrap the entire thing, dish and all, in a layer of saran wrap and then a layer of tin foil. Don't forget to label the top. Then you'll have individual pot pie servings all ready to go through the next few months. Just thaw as before, though they will take less thawing and less baking time than a full sized one.

This year, since we're living in a hotel, and we don't have an oven, I'm going to turn the pot pie filling into a turkey stew and serve it over biscuits. I'll do that by making the filling as usual, but also adding at least one extra jar of gravy and a can or two of broth. Then I'll simmer it all together for a little bit, twenty minutes or so. I think it'll be pretty good. And if you were a dumpling type of person, you could easily do dumplings in it instead of serving it with the biscuits.

There are lots of ways to use leftovers, these are just our favorites. Turkey sandwiches are classic and we're planning to experiment with turkey and stuffing quesadillas this year as well. Turkey soup served over scoops of leftover stuffing and mashed potato soup with corn and chives are also great ways to use leftovers. How does everyone else use their leftovers from Thanksgiving?

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KreativeMix said...

cool info. I make tons of sandwiches for family and friends everyday........LOL

Mary said...

I use leftover turkey by making a stir fry, or by making a chunky cheese casserole. In the casserole I cut up the turkey and put it in the bottom of the dish. Put cream of chicken soup on top then a layer of swiss cheese then I spread the leftover stuffing on top and bake it till it is nice and bubbly.
Have a great day!!

Bethany said...

Kreativemix, thanks for your comment. My husband loves the leftovers in sandwiches quite a lot too.

Mary, that sounds delicious. I'll have to try that when I've got an oven again. Maybe after Christmas turkey.

disa said...


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