How to Use up Chicken & Turkey Leftovers After Your Christmas Dinner: Eight Quick Easy Recipes
Quick and Easy Recipes - Thrifty ways to use up cooked Chicken or Turkey after your Christmas Roast Dinner
Lots of Ideas for Using Up Turkey Leftovers After Christmas
After you've had a good meal of roast turkey or roast chicken and vegetables, it can be a bit of a bore knowing what to do with the remnants, and devising meals with the scraps which someone will actually want to eat. I hope this will give you some new ideas and also remind you of things you already knew but haven't put into operation.
I love food. It has been my custom to pat my stomach lovingly and say "that's all good food in there, lots and lots of it". I refuse to eat food I don't like, because that really isn't worth getting fat for.
I come from a background of great change, and have experienced both wealth and poverty, travelled widely and have lived in several areas of very mixed cultures, ending up in one of the most metropolitan cities of all - London. I have had the opportunity to try many wonderful national and international dishes and, in a city where so many cultures live side-by-side, it is easy to find an enormous range of imported food sitting side-by-side with local produce. As you would expect, this has influenced my style of cooking.
Turkey Leftovers can be used
interchangeably with chicken leftovers
Start with a Roast Turkey or Chicken
Buy one slightly bigger than you need - turkey and chicken leftovers are a useful ingredient in many quick and easy recipes
As this article is about how to use up your turkey and chicken leavings, I'm not going to tell you how to cook roast Turkey or chicken (as I have done this in a separate Web Page How to Cook Roast Turkey or Roast Chicken ).
Just to whet your appetite and get you fantasizing, my roast chickens are THE BEST - Crispy very tasty skin, and slightly moist inside, not dried-out, .
Basting and other ingredients are involved. And my crispy roast potatoes, parnsnips and onion are divine.
Meanwhile, on to the nitty-gritty: you have eaten your celebration turkey or Sunday lunch, and the remains should make at least two more meals if you play your cards right.
With These Tasty Recipes You Don't Need to be Rich to Eat Good Food
Anyone can make delicious meals with top class ingredients and expensive prime cuts of meat!
But here's my secret for making nutritious meals from cheap ingredients:
Many traditional recipes for tasty meals have been devised by the not-so-well-off, to disguise or bring out the flavour of more modest foods. So sauces and meals with only tiny quantities of expensive foods and large quantities of the cheap stuff like pasta, noodles, rice and vegetables are the basis of many a mouth-watering meal.
Paella - a Quick and Easy Recipe
This is a traditional Spanish dish, normally made with whatever meat or fish and vegetables they have to hand, in a rice base
Paella for 6 people:
- 1 or 2 large deep flat bottomed pans, or a paella dish (even a large wok would do)
- 1 large mixing spoon
- 1-2 large onions
- 6 cloves of garlic or 1-2 teaspoons of bottled garlic
- 2 cloves
- 1 inch fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon of bottled ginger or sprinkling of powdered ginger
- 2 large peppers (I use a green one & a red one)
- Plenty of olive oil (not extra virgin)
- 500g - 750g turkey or chicken chopped up into small pieces
- (raw turkey or chicken is best, but if using cooked chicken or turkey, just add
- an additional chicken stock cube for extra flavour)
- 1 chicken stock cube (use a fish one if you prefer)
- 250g frozen shelled prawns
- 500g Rice (Paella or Arborio rice work best but ordinary short or long grain rice is fine)
- 250g of frozen peas
- Lemons (use a good squirt of bottled lemon juice if you haven't got a lemon
- 1 teaspoonful of saffron (you can use turmeric instead, which gives a better colour, but saffron gives a better flavour)
- 2 medium to large tomatoes
- sprinkling of chilli powder or seeds - be careful, not too much
- Sprinkling of paprika
- Optional Ingredients:
- Mussels - 1 or 2 per person
- Large prawns - 1 or 2 per person
- 2 sprigs of fresh coriander or teaspoon of bottled coriander
- Sprinkling of mixed powdered spice
- Sprinkling of mixed herbs
- Chop the onions and fry slowly in a generous dollop of olive oil until translucent golden brown, add the turkey or chicken, chili and garlic and cook until lightly browned.
- Meanwhile de-seed and chop the peppers into 2-3 inch chunks. Add to the pan together with cloves, ginger, saffron or turmeric and paprika and any other optional flavorings and continue frying gently and stirring for two or three minutes.
- Then, in the same pan, or in a separate pan, put another generous dollop of olive oil and pour in all the rice, stirring and frying it until all the rice has been coated with oil and is slightly translucent. Add the rice to the other ingredients, add the chicken or fish stock cubes, and about 1 pint of boiling water and stir, dissolving the cubes.
- Let it all simmer on a low heat with a lid on for about ten minutes, then add the peas and small prawns, stirring them in evenly.
- Slice the tomatoes and arrange the slices in a circle round the pan on top of the rice. Then decorate with the large prawns and mussels and coriander. Slice the lemons into quarters and add these to the top, squeezing some of the juice over the rice. Put the lid back on and continue to simmer for about ten minutes. If the rice looks dry, add a little more water, so that when cooked the rice is a little sticky but not floating in water and not dried out.
- Serve when the rice is cooked and soft.
There are many Paella versions on YouTube, and I chose this one - it looks good and shows an alternative to my paella
If you haven't already got a Paella Pan, Amazon stocks them - There are paella pans to suit all sizes and pockets
When you buy one, you need to consider whether you need a fairly large size, or a huge size - it depends whether you are just cooking for a small family or for lots of people.
They are very useful and can of course be used for cooking other meals as well. For this reason, it might be worth buying a lid as well - you can buy them separately if there is not one with the product shown.
A paella pan is very useful as it can be used for cooking other meals too. For this reason, it might be worth buying a lid as well.
The pan shown here is a big family sized one
Turkey or Chicken Vol-au-Vents
Make them the quick and easy way, without having to dabble in pastry-making
You can either make substantial vol-au-vents for a meal (allow two per person), or make smaller ones for party canapes
- Buy prepared large or miniature vol-au-vent cases, or make your own using ready cut puff pastry.
- Turkey or Chicken Supreme filling
- Make the filling by following the basic recipe for Turkey or Chicken Supreme above, making sure the turkey or chicken pieces are fairly small.
- Fill small or large vol-au-vent cases with the mixture, and warm up or cook according to the instructions for the vol-au-vent cases.
Would you share the food on your plate with anyone else?
Would you be prepared to give some to your beloved, even if it is your favourite food, or something special, or something which it is difficult to divide - this makes me think of things like prawns, lobster, caviar, egg, and roast potato, but for you it might be meat and vegetables or part of your pudding?
How about Voting in this Poll? - What's your attitude to food?
What's your reaction if someone asks for a taste of your food?
Chicken or Turkey Sandwich - Easy, Nourishing, Slimming, Time- and Labour-saving and, most of all, Delicious
Turkey or Chicken Sandwiches - Not just one type, but various versions
Remember - you can use chicken or turkey interchangeably for this.
1. My father used to make chicken sandwiches for us on Sunday nights. This would be dry bread on one slice of bread, and a smear of schmaltz (chicken fat) on the other slice. Then fill with the odd bits of chicken which are too small to use for anything else and salt and plenty of pepper.
2. My mother would make them as above, but adding lettuce
3. Or she would make them as above, with the addition of mayonnaise instead of schmaltz.
4. My boyfriend would make sandwiches spreading butter and Marmite on one slice, piling up small pieces of chicken on the dry bread on the other.slice and then closing it. Using Marmite avoids the use of naughty salt, thus gaining Brownie points.
5. And, following number 4, I would add sliced tomato, which always tastes very good with Marmite and it also complements the chicken in a sandwich - I think this is the best of all, and the one I usually have myself, sometimes without the butter as it is greasy enough.
Turkey or Chicken Stir-Fry
Aromatic Turkey or Chicken Stir-Fry
This is a tasty and quick recipe - serves about three to four people
Turkey or Chicken Stir-Fry
- 1 Small Onion
- About 4 - 8 ozs. Cooked Turkey or Chicken shredded into small pieces
- Cooked Prawns (optional)
- 1 Red or Green Pepper (or more if you like)
- Any mixture of Broccoli, green beans, cabbage, carrot, courgette, mange tout or frozen peas, swede, parsnip, celery, mushrooms, cauliflower, pak choi (Chinese cabbage to you), bamboo shoots, sweetcorn
- 1 Packet or tin of Beansprouts (fresh is nicer)
- 1 Packet of Chinese Noodles - these can be the little packets sold everywhere or rice noodles (ho fan) or egg noodles
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 - 4 cloves of fresh garlic (or, if bottled, 1 - 2 teaspoons)
- Ginger (about 1-inch if fresh or, if bottled, 1 - 2 teaspoons)
- Coriander (optional - a couple of sprigs or, if bottled 1 teaspoon)
- Chili to flavour (optional)
- 2 teaspoonfuls Sesame Seeds (optional)
- Flavourings: (I use any or all of these) Soy Sauce, Chicken or Vegetable Cube, Oyster Sauce, Hoi Sin sauce, Chinese five-spice, Sweet Chilli Sauce, Chilli Oi, Raw Spring Onion
- Use a wok if you have one, otherwise a large saucepan or frying pan
- The idea is to prepare everything before you start cooking, as cooking is very quick - everything is sliced very thinly so that it cooks in a minute (unlike European cooking where vegetables are cooked for 10 - 20 minutes). The texture of the vegetables should be slightly crunchy rather than soft.
- Shred the turkey or chicken
- Chop the onion and Pepper into small chunks
- Finely slice the other vegetables
- Boil the noodles in a separate small saucepan according to instructions on packet (usually 3 minutes). Add the chicken or vegetable cube.
- Heat up the oil in the wok, add the onion and fry it quickly so that it is seared but still chewy, not soft, then add the turkey or chicken , and then add the ginger, garlic and, if desired, chilli and Chinese five-spice. Fry for about quarter of a minute, on medium to high heat, then add the other vegetables bit by bit, stirring, and adding the ones which need the most cooking first. Add the prawns if wanted. Reserve the beansprouts and mushrooms till last so that they don't go mushy.
- Add all or any of the flavorings.
- The whole cooking process should only take about five to eight minutes.
- You can then stir the cooked noodles into the wok mixing them with the vegetables, or serve them separately.
Home-Made Chicken Soup (or Turkey Soup)
Turkey or Chicken Soup
This is not only tasty, but nourishing too, and chicken soup is also known as Jewish Penicillin
Turkey or Chicken Soup:
Another Quick and Easy Recipe
- Every scrap of turkey or chicken left over, including the skin and bones
- 1 large onion
- 2 carrots
- 1/2 leek
- 1 or 2 sticks of celery
- A handful of soup mix - this can be barley, lentils, black-eyed beans, broad beans, or even rice or oats
- These are the basic ingredients but I often add whatever other vegetables I have available left over from the main meal or raw, such as parsnip, swede, potato, tomato, peas or finely chopped cabbage.
- Seasoning to suit your taste, including pickling spice, peppercorns, juniper berries, ginger, 2 cloves of garlic, cinnamon, paprika, 1 clove, 1 bay leaf, mixed herbs, including parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme and or anything else you might like
- Salt and or chicken stock or vegetable stock cubes
- Slice and fry the onions until golden brown, slice the other vegetables and then add all the other ingredients except salt and cover with about 2 pints of water (It is best to add salt after the soup is cooked, because dried beans soften up better when not cooked in salt).
- If you use a pressure cooker, as I do, cook for about 30 minutes. Otherwise it is best to soak pulses like butter beans for a few hours to soften them and then simmer the soup for about two hours.
- You will need to fish out all the bones when the soup is cooked. You can make it easier by placing all the bones in a steamer and then placing the steamer in the saucepan to cook, so that the bones are kept separate from everything else but are still steeped in the water. Then you just remove the steamer with the bones when the soup is cooked. Add salt at this stage. You can then have the soup as it is, with all the vegetables in it, or you can blend the soup and vegetables in a blender to make a thick soup.
Turkey or Chicken Patty
Turkey or Chicken Patty
You can use up all your cooked vegetables as well as turkey or chicken with this recipe, or use fresh vegetables
As you can see from the list of ingredients below, precise ingredients and quantities are not critical and you can vary them according to taste and what you have available - the aim is simply to have enough bulk to feed however many mouths need feeding. And every time you make patties, they will vary slightly in taste
- A handful of cooked turkey or chicken
- Cooked potato - at least two small potatoes per person
- Onion cooked or raw
- Greens such as cabbage, kale, spring greens, spinach or brussel sprouts
- Any cooked root vegetables such as parsnip, swede, turnip (optional)
- 1 Egg
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (optional)
- Olive oil (or any other cooking oil, but olive oil is better for you)
- Absolutely any combination of herbs and spices that you like, to flavour the patties without overpowering them, e.g. ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, chili powder, coriander, cumin, caraway, paprika, turmeric, mixed spice, curry powder, mixed herbs, coriander, tarragon, sage, parsley, thyme, oregano - what have I missed?
- Beat the egg, then blend all the ingredients including seasoning in a blender - just do short bursts so that it is still lumpy and not a complete mush (if you are not using a blender, mash what is mashable and chop up the rest).
- Sprinkle a little flour on a board and on your hands. Scoop out about a tablespoon full of mixture and form it into a round flat patty on the board (NB Size doesn't matter). Make further patties. You can even make just one huge omelette-sized patty, as long as it is coated with flour, but it may be more difficult to turn over.
- NB the egg binds the patties, i.e. stops them falling apart, and the flour stops them being too wet when fried.
- Heat the oil in the pan to medium heat, then add the patties, shaking or prodding them in the pan now and then to ensure they don't stick to the bottom. After two minutes, check to see how they are cooking and whether they are browning. Turn them after about two or three minutes, using a spatula or fish lift Then cook the other side. They should end up being lightly golden brown on both sides.
Turkey or Chicken and Mushroom Risotto
Turkey or Chicken and Mushroom Risotto
This recipe is exceptionally easy as there are very few ingredients
I watched my daughter cooking this a couple of months ago. It had quite a mixed reception from the family - all the adults liked it and all the children thought it was horrible. So you are warned! I think it was the goats milk cheese which was the turning point - it has quite a strong flavour, and you either love it or hate it.
Thinking that I'd try it out some time, as it was so easy to make, I bought in some goats milk cheese, which is not something I usually have in store. The other ingredients are pretty standard. So I made it today, from memory, without a recipe and it was great.
Flushed with success, I want to tell you how to make it.
As usual with my recipes, precise amounts are not crucial, and if the addition of goats milk cheese makes it too sour for your taste, you could try cream, creme fraishe, or plain yogurt. You only need a tiny bit of chicken, and could do without it altogether if you wanted just a mushroom risotto. But as this is a web-page for chicken leftovers, today we'll have it with chicken.
Ingredients: (serves two people)
- A small handful of skinless cooked turkey or chicken
- 1 cupful of rice (I would recommend Italian Arborio, Spanish Paella or Thai Jasmine rice, but any rice is OK)
- A handful of Mushrooms (Porcini mushrooms would be best, but otherwise just use what is available)
- A big blob of butter
- 1 small clove
- 1 Chicken stock cube
- Approx. 1 oz of goats cheese
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Melt butter in a saucepan.
- Add the rice and stir for a minute, to coat all the grains with butter.
- Add 2 cups of hot water, bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes (until rice is soft).
- Whilst it is simmering, shred the turkey or chicken into small pieces, then add it to the rice together with the mushrooms, clove, chicken stock cube and salt.
- When most of the water has been absorbed, add the goats cheese (or the alternatives mentioned above) and stir. The mixture will be sticky and glutinous.
- Serve and add freshly ground pepper.
- Alternative: If you want to be a complete slut, use a tin of condensed mushroom soup instead of the mushrooms and cheese or cream . You could also add finely chopped onion to the mixture.
Turkey or Chicken Pilaff
Turkey or Chicken Pilaff
This is a delicious meat and rice dish with a curry flavour (serves 2 - 3 people)
- 3 chopped tomatoes
- 1 large onion
- 2 Teaspoons curry powder
- 1 clove and - optional- 1 cardoman pod
- 1 green or red pepper
- Â½ cup raisins (optional)
- 1 - 2 cups cooked chicken leftovers
- 2 teaspoonfuls of olive oil or butter
- 2 Â½ cups rice
- 5 cups Chicken stock (you can make this up with water mixed with 2 chicken cubes)
- 1 Tablespoon almonds
- sprig of fresh coriander leaves (optional)
- Chop up the onion and fry gently in the oil or butter together with the curry powder and clove for 3 or 4 minutes. If you want to be
- fancy, split and add a cardoman pod as well.
- Meanwhile, cut or shred the chicken into small pieces and chop the pepper into small pieces. Then add these to the pan and continue frying for a minute or two.
- Then chop and add the tomato and raisins.
- Add the rice and continue to stir and fry the rice until all the grains are coated with oil and turning translucent.
- Add chicken stock and simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is soft but not soggy (if you like it a bit soggy, like I do, just add a little drop of water if it looks dry).
- Add the almonds and sprinkle with fresh chopped coriander leaves (optional)
All the Above Recipes Were Devised by me, but You Might Find the Following Useful:
- Hints and tips
LOVE FOOD, HATE WASTE: Lots of handy hints for Christmas Eve and also general advice on how to avoid wasting food