Monday, November 28, 2011

0 Thanksgiving leftovers...tired of Turkey Sandwiches?

I love having turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving. Sometimes I make them with just butter, salt and turkey, other times I add mayo, wasabi mayo, maybe some stuffing, and even cranberry sauce – but how many sandwiches can you eat? Or, how much meat do you have leftover? And if you're like me and most of my friends & family you also don't eat dark meat. So, just what do you do with the dark meat and the other stuff?

Well, I make Turkey Pot Pie which uses nearly everything leftover and then I boil the bones up and make Turkey Soup. After all, this turkey gave it's life for us, so I think that we should eat as much of it as possible. Pot pie and soup are also a great way to “hide” dark meat, I usually use about 2/3 white and 1/3 dark in the pot pie and about 2/3 dark and 1/3 white in the soup. This year I had almost no white meat left, so I also made a batch of dog food with the excess dark meat.

Now, I don't really have a recipe for either of these so you'll have to bear with me. I really do throw most of my leftovers into the pot pie – but I don't know what you cook for Thanksgiving dinner so I'll try to give you an idea of what goes into mine and you can try putting your leftovers in yours – taste it and tell me all about it.

Some things that I've put into the pot pie are: turkey, stuffing, creamed onions, carrots, peas, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, broccoli, pickled red cabbage and asparagus. I will say right now – this is not a healthy meal, but it is certainly delicious. Ok, here's an attempt at a recipe...

Turkey Pot Pie
2 times pie crust recipe*
4-6 c turkey cut into bite size pieces
1- ½ c gravy
2 carrots, sliced thin or 1 c carrots
½ c onions sliced thin or creamed onions
1-2 c green bean casserole
1 c stuffing
1 c evaporated milk or cream
1-2 Tbl butter
1 c water

In a large pot combine turkey, gravy, carrots, onions, green bean casserole, stuffing, milk, butter and water. Heat over a medium flame, stirring occasionally – the consistency should be fairly thick, if it's not then make a slurry with about half a cup water and a heaping tablespoon flour and add it to the mixture, simmer until it thickens. Line a 13x16x3 roasting pan with the pie crust, pour contents into pan. Cover with the remainder of the crust and bake at 425 degrees for about an hour.

Now, I've used leftover mashed potatoes in the mixture, and I've also used them on top – kind of like a Shepherd's Pie.  You also don't have to make a pie this large - you can make smaller ones in regular pie plates or in ramekins - you can even freeze them before they're baked and cook them later – so get creative.

Pie Crust Recipe – *double this recipe for a 13x16x3 pot pie
1 1/3 c flour
½ tsp salt
½ c vegetable shortening
3 Tbl water

Sift flour before measuring. Combine flour & salt. Cut in shortening (you can use a pastry cutter if you have one, but a fork works just as well). Sprinkle with water. Work into dough. Using a rolling pin roll out to a thin crust.

I'm not sure how many people this serves – I'm sure that it should serve at least 8 people, but I don't think I've ever gotten that many servings out of it because everyone likes it so much.

The ingredients in the turkey soup don't change much from year to year, but of course the quantity of turkey does – just try to keep it all in proportion, or at least the way you like your soup. Pick as much meat off of the bones as you can – I usually throw the legs in whole, it's not worth the effort to pick the meat off of them until after they're boiled. Also, if you're like me and you don't eat the skin – throw that into the pot too, it will help flavor the broth.

Turkey Soup
2-4 c turkey
1 c celery, diced
1 c carrots, sliced or diced
¼ c onion, chopped
½ c green beans (optional)
½ c stuffing (optional)
¾ c barley
2 tsp salt
½ tsp poultry seasoning
1-2 bay leaves
pepper, to taste

Put the turkey carcass (and skin) into a very large pot, cover with water, boil for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove bones, set aside to cool, remove skin and discard. While the bones are cooling, add remaining ingredients to the pot and simmer. After the bones have cooled, pick off what meat you can (only what looks appetizing, if it looks tough or grizzly throw it away), discard bones. Add this meat to your soup, cook until the carrots are tender – serve hot.

Good luck and remember these are just guidelines – get creative and enjoy yourself.

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