December 04, 2014

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey recipes


I can't believe that it has taken me so long to sit down and share my recipes for leftover Thanksgiving turkey!! (These recipes could also be used for leftover chicken, or freshly cooked turkey or chicken.)

I have to say, life has been busy lately- anyone who tells you that maternity leave is relaxing when you have holidays to plan and a three-year-old to entertain, is selling you something. We hosted a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, and Thanksgiving Part 2 on Friday. There were many dishes of incredible food- homemade cranberry sauce, green bean casserole from scratch, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts gratin (I'll share that recipe soon, too!), pies, cookies, and more! The centerpiece of it all, of course, was the turkey...

My husband helped me make two delicious bacon-wrapped turkeys. Thankfully, we have two ovens and he tended the bird downstairs so that I didn't have to huff and puff up and downstairs all afternoon!

Everyone loved our turkeys- and the delicious bacon on top!- but as per tradition, after everyone had eaten all they could, we still had turkey leftover to work with. This year, I made two noteworthy meals with what was left!

First taste of leftovers: turkey wrap with cranberry sauce and mayo
First, I made the most incredible turkey soup I've ever had. I mean, it was awesome. I think some the deliciousness had to do with the residual sage butter and bacon yumminess that was left on the turkey... No wonder we devoured it!

Turkey Noodle Soup
Serves 6-8

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cup chopped parsnip
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 big bay leaf
4 cups chopped turkey
7 cups fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups medium egg noodles

Melt butter in bottom of soup pot over medium heat, add oil. Add veggies, garlic and seasonings; saute until onion is translucent. Add the turkey and the broth, bring to boil and then reduce to simmer and cover; simmer to warm through and allow everything to come together. About 10 minutes before serving, stir in noodles and re-cover pot. Test to make sure noodles are to your liking, then serve and enjoy!!

For a little fun, I served the soup with some goldfish crackers... it made a perfect meal for a cold rainy night!!

The night after we slurped up our soup, I set out to make another delicious dinner using our leftover turkey... for some reason, the idea of turkey tetrazzini stuck in my head. Because I have never made tetrazzini, I scoured the internet to review several different recipes. I ended up adapting a recipe from the Pioneer Woman (here's the original recipe)... the result was another great recipe for our leftover turkey, one which I will definitely be trying again!!

Turkey Tetrazzini
Adapted from Pioneer Woman; Serves 8-12

4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound white mushrooms, quartered
1 cup dry white wine (I used cooking wine)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 cups leftover turkey, diced
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
12 oz thin spaghetti, broken in half and cooked
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, if desired
about 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 350. Melt the butter in large saucepan over medium heat; add garlic and saute until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add in mushrooms, saute until lightly browned. Stir in wine, salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces by half- 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle mushroom mixture with flour, stirring to combine. Add the broth to pan, stirring to combine. Cook until sauce is thickened- about 3-4 minutes. Add the cream cheese in small pieces and stir with whisk until it mixes in. Add the turkey, peas, and Monterey Jack cheese. Stir until everything is combined. Stir in spaghetti and red pepper flakes (if desired).
Pour mixture into 9x13 pan and top with Panko. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until mixture is bubbly and breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Serve with a vegetable of your choice, or simple side salad. We had this tetrazzini for dinner two nights in a row, (what happens when you're busy!) and even shared with my in-laws. I am happy to report that everyone loved it!

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and enjoyed your leftovers in different ways!

I will share my brussels sprouts recipe soon- it will be a good one during the winter, or even at Christmas dinner... I will also start baking this weekend, so look forward to some yummy cookie recipes!