Wrap up Thanksgiving Turkey
Of all the holiday gatherings, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are the most anticipated. The crowning glory is often a glorious stuffed turkey, big enough to feed a dozen at least. Crisp golden skin, rich brown gravy, crunchy nut stuffing, table groaning with steaming side dishes, this is an unparalled feast for all the senses.
Dinner is done, the plates are cleared, the guests are relaxing, replete and somnolent. And out in the kitchen, the remains of that oversized bird are waiting just for you...
The first step is always to make a delicious turkey stock. Here's my recipe for that. Following are some tempting recipes to dress up that leftover bird:
Break up the turkey carcass, skin and all, and put it into a large stock pot. Add 12 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Skim off the froth that forms.
Add 2 celery stalks (include leaves), 2 carrots, 1 onion, all roughly chopped, 1/2 tsp each of thyme, peppercorns and oregano, and a bundle of fresh parsley. Simmer for 2 hours, partially covered.
Strain the resulting stock through a cheese-cloth lined sieve, and refrigerate it until the fat congeals on top. Discard the fat, and put into serving sized containers and freeze. The stock can be refrigerated for 3 days, or stored frozen for up to 6 months.
Turkey Gumbo Stew
This is really a spicy soup, rather than a real stew:
Gently brown 2 tbsp of flour in 1 tbsp oil. Stir in 1 cup of chopped onion, 1 diced celery stalk, 1 diced green pepper, and cook til softened.
Add 1-19 oz. can of tomatoes, 1 cup turkey stock, 1/4 cup rice, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp oregano, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Cook til rice is tender.
Add 1 cup of okra (can use frozen) or 1 cup peas and 1 1/2 cups of chopped turkey. Heat through and season with salt and hot pepper sauce to taste.
Turkey Cranberry Pancakes
These make a great lunch dish. Serve with extra cranberry sauce.
In a large bowl, beat together 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup sour cream, and 1/4 cup melted butter.
Stir in 1 cup flour, 1.5 tsp baking powder, 1.2 tsp salt, until just blended.
Fold in 1 1/2 cups chopped turkey, 1/2 cup cranberry sauce and 3 chopped green onions.
Heat (until water drops bounce and sizzle) a non-stick pan or griddle, and drop the batter in 1/4 cup measures. Flatten to about 1/2 inch thick. Cook for 4 minutes, or until it bubbles, then turn and cook 4 minutes on the other side.
Cook 1/2 cup chopped onion in 1 tbsp oil, til softened and set aside.
Rinse a package or bunch of fresh spinach, and steam until just wilted. Squeeze it dry, and chop it up.
In a large bowl, beat together 3/4 lb. ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup grated parmesan, 2 eggs, 1 tsp oregano, and salt and pepper.
Stir in 3 cups of chopped turkey, the onion and the spinach.
Make your favorite fresh tomato sauce, or use a commercial one of top quality.You'll need about 4 cups.
Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.
Grate 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese.
Assembly: Spread tomato sauce in the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Put in 1 layer of noodles, and cover with more tomato sauce. Add a layer of the filling, using about half of it. Add another layer of noodles, a layer of tomato sauce, a layer of grated mozarella, and the rest of the filling. Put on one more layer of noodles, pour the remaining tomato sauce over that, and sprinkle with the remaining mozarella cheese. Top with a layer of parmesan. Bake for 45 minutes, uncovered, in a moderate oven.
And What Else?
More ideas include turkey pate, turkey pot pie, turkey and noodle casserole, baked turkey and swiss croque monsieur, jambalaya, turkey minestrone.
Here are a few links for even more recipes to enjoy:
Have fun with it!