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I ususally do several turkies at each holiday, mainly because I adore having the leftovers to play with. I love cooking ahead of myself so that I have a jump-start on extra meals anyway, and what better or easier way to do this than with turkey?
I love using this recipe with the meat that I've 'picked' from the carcass right before I make the bones into stock. This is the meat that just doesn't want to carve off in pretty pieces - the stuff that hides out in the nooks and crannies along the breastbone and the back. The flavor of this meat is usually the best, since it was roasted next to the bones, although it usually isn't very pretty - it comes off in shreds and chunks instead of nice little bits that can be cut nicely into cubes.
This is a dynamite way to use that meat. Chop it very, very finely - and because it will be mixed (or my favorite - minced) into a salad, the texture is actually preferable that way. I like the vegetables as small as possible as well - the flavors really get a chance to marry and mingle. I'll make this plain - but it often is a great palette for other flavors. The sweet pop of grapes, the tart bite of cranberries, raisins, golden raisins, dried cranberries, dried unsweetened cherries, pecans or walnuts or cashews - each one is a nice addition. I think I've used them all!
- 3 cups cooked turkey, cut into small cubes (smoked turkey is AMAZING if you have it)
- 2 stalks celery, including leafy tops, minced
- 2 green onions, including green tops, minced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, minced
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 scant teaspoon white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Optional: 1/2 cup chopped seedless grapes, or 1/2 cup chopped fresh cranberries
- In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper. Mix well.
- In a second bowl, combine turkey, celery, onions and bell peppers, tossing to combine. If you wish to use grapes or cranberries, mix them in as well.
- Add mayonnaise mixtures to chopped turkey and vegetables and mix well. Cover, and refrigerate well to blend flavors before serving.
- You can also pulse the turkey and vegetables in a food processor in order to finely mince the salad. This makes a great, very fine texture, so that the turkey salad can be used with crackers as a dip or appetizer.
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