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How to Put That Leftover Holiday Turkey to Good Use

Updated on November 24, 2007

Turkey Fact: About 15% of all the turkeys raised in the United States come from North Carolina. When you've finished enjoying your Thanksgiving or Christmas gobler, you may wonder what you can do with the leftover turkey. I hate to see good food go to waste, so here are a few ideas for making use of your leftovers:

Turkey Pot Pie

  • 4 cups diced cooked turkey
  • 2 cups diced red potatoes
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
  • 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups turkey or chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 2 9-inch pie crusts
  • Salt & pepper as needed

Heat oil or butter in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute, stirring about 10 - 12 minutes until tender. Add garlic and saute about 30 seconds. Add flour, stirring continuously about 2 minutes until thick. Add broth and whisk out lumps. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat over to 350 F. Add potatoes, carrots, and celery to broth mixture and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 - 30 minutes. Add turkey and peas and remove from heat. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Spoon filling into baking dish. Cut pie crust and cover filling. Cut slits in crust and press edges of dough onto baking dish. Serve and enjoy!

Pulled Turkey

  • 2 cooked turkey thighs and 1 wing
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce
  • Water
  • Sandwich rolls

Heat oven to 350 F. Place turkey in baking dish and cover with barbecue sauce. If sauce is too thick, add a little water. Cover dish with water and bake about 90 minutes, or until meat begins to fall off the bone. Add more water if it begins to look dry.

Let meat cool a little and remove any skin. Shred meat with a fork and stir in more sauce if desired. Heap meat on rolls and serve.

Turkey Nachos

  • 2 cups shredded turkey
  • 1 8-ounce bag tortilla chips
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 pound shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream

Heat oven broiler. Layer ingedients in large baking pan, beginning with: 1) chips; 2) turkey; 3) beans; 4) cheese. Broil until cheese bubbles and chips begin to brown, about 3 - 5 minutes. Serve with salsa and sour cream on the side.

Turkey Cakes With Salsa

  • 1 1/2 cups diced turkey (cooked)
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 diced and seeded jalapeno
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons turkey gravy or heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Salsa (recipe for salsa follows)

Put turkey in food processor and pulse until chopped. Place in medium bowl and add cilantro, chives, jalapeno, breadcrumbs, lime juice, and gravy or cream. Mix until well combines. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in egg yolk.

Mold into patties. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Put cornmeal in shallow bowl. Whisk egg white with water in another bowl. Dip patties in egg-white mixture. Coat with cornmeal.

Heat in skillet with medium heat. Add oil and heat. Cook patties about 5 mintes until brown on bottom, then turn and cook other side.

Roasted Tomato Salsa

  • 3 large cored tomatoes
  • 1 cored hot chile, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper

Heat oven to 400 F. Line baking sheet with foil.

Cut tomatoes in half. Place cut side down on baking sheet and bake until skins split , about 10 mintues. Let cool a little before removing skins.

Put tomato flesh in food processor with chile, lime juice, cilantro, and salt & pepper. Process until well blended. Season as needed.




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