Thanksgiving Redux — Leftovers 101:Turkey

If you are up early today you can catch me talking about Thanksgiving Leftovers on Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia. I will be on both the 8 AM and 9 AM segments.

Happy Day After
I hope you had a delicious enough Thanksgiving. If you were a guest, I hope you helped your host. A host? I hope you got all or most of your one relaxed hour. Hosts, maybe take a moment to think about and write down what you might do differently next year — especially if you felt in any way overtaxed by your efforts. Regardless, my guess is you ate too much. Welcome to the club.

Leftovers 101: Turkey
Lucky is the host who has leftover turkey. Leftover turkey is so coveted that family members sometimes expect post-Thanksgiving care packages to go. I strongly suggest roasting a bigger turkey than you need whenever possible—and that you roast a turkey at home more frequently. First and foremost, use leftover turkey for a hot turkey sandwich. Don’t bother trying to reheat the turkey. Just place it open-faced on rustic bread and drizzle it with very hot leftover gravy. Cold turkey combines nicely with cranberry sauce, lettuce and wheat bread for a cold turkey sandwich. Or, cook up some bacon for a turkey BLT on toasted bread. Cube leftover turkey and combine with mayonnaise, cranberry sauce, pecans, celery and scallion for turkey salad. Substitute turkey for chicken in croquettes (see At Home page 270). Use turkey in corned beef hash (At Home page 378). Finally, use the carcass and final meat pickings for turkey chowder featured below.

Turkey Chowder
The perfect day-after Thanksgiving solution to leftovers (after your Dagwood sandwich, of course), this comforting soup swirls turkey and corn in a creamy herbed broth.

do ahead Stock can be made up to one month ahead and frozen. Chowder can be made up to three days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stove before serving.

Turkey Stock
4 ears corn, husked and cleaned (or 17-ounce can corn, drained)
2 celery stalks, halved lengthwise
2 carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 small onions, quartered
1 head garlic, halved
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh parsley
6 peppercorns
1 roasted turkey carcass
1⁄2 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
4-6 cups cubed turkey
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons salt
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper

1 Make stock: Bring 21⁄2 quarts water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add corn and cook for 3 minutes. Remove corn and run under cold water. Working over a bowl, scrape cobs with a knife to remove kernels and any residual milk. Reserve corn and residue.
2 Return cobs to the pot with celery, carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaf, parsley, peppercorns and turkey carcass. If needed, break up the carcass to submerge it. Bring to a boil and skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Lower heat and simmer for at least 3 hours. Strain and discard solids.
3 Make chowder by melting butter in a large stockpot. When foaming subsides, add chopped celery, carrot, onion and garlic to pot and cook over moderately high heat until vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes.
4 Add flour to pot and stir to form a paste. Cook for a few minutes. Gradually add 8 cups turkey stock and heavy cream to pot, stirring to prevent lumps. Stir in thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in turkey, corn and milky residue. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

A note about the following recipe: Ideally, you’ll take a quick trip to the market to pick-up a few ears of fresh corn. It’s not corn season around here, but it is somewhere and fresh corn still often makes it way here. The recipe uses the cob from the fresh corn to enrich and sweeten the stock. But, feel free to use canned corn (my personal guilty snack food pleasure). It will still make a great soup — served to holiday guests, enjoyed by family next week, or frozen for a cold winter’s day.


At Home’s Leftover Turkey Salad with Apples, Pecans and Cranberry Mayonnaise
There’s a good chance you will have everything you need for this leftover from your Thanksgiving dinner or in your produce drawer. Maybe you won’t have pecans in your pantry? You could substitute walnuts, pinenuts or pumpkin seeds or just skip the nuts.

Do Ahead Well, doing this before Thanksgiving would contradict the “leftovers” principle, but you could certainly do this salad on Friday after Thanksgiving and serve it for Sunday lunch.

4 cups cubed roast turkey or turkey pulled from carcass, mix of dark and light meat
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced scallion
1/2 cup peeled and cubed apples, Granny Smith preferred
1/2 cup toasted pecans – lightly chopped
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1. In a mixing bowl, combine cranberry sauce,mayonnaise, salt and pepper and mix.
2. In another bowl, combine turkey, celery, scallion, apple and pecans. Add  cranberry mayonnaise and mix well.

Serves 6-8

Serve along with field greens or turn it into a delicious sandwich with lettuce and some extra cranberry mayonnaise.

Tomorrow’s Post: Scenes from My Thanksgiving

Start Your Holiday Shopping with At Home
Order At Home: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining at home! Otherwise, in the Philadelphia area, At Home is available at Franklin Foodworks, our restaurants in The Franklin Institute, Coopermarket at 302 Levering Mill Road in Bala Cynwyd and in Center City at the Joseph Fox Bookshop, 1724 Sansom Street. The nearly 500 page book includes a digital key that provides access to At Home On Line. At Home is not generally available in bookstores.

Thank you for visiting.

Your Home Entertaining Coach


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3 responses to “Thanksgiving Redux — Leftovers 101:Turkey

  1. nelly

    Hi Steve,
    thank you for all your guidance. This holiday was much more relax!

  2. Pingback: My Thanksgiving « At Home By Steve Poses Blog

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