Love Your Turkey Leftovers
Nothing’s better than a turkey dinner with all the trimmings—until you work your magic on those turkey leftovers, that is.
The aroma of cooking turkey wafting from the kitchen signals a special dinner is on its way. With any luck, you’ll end up with turkey leftovers galore, signaling the mouth-watering turkey meals will continue, just in new and deliciously different forms. White meat or dark meat, drumstick or breast, there are plenty of great solutions to ensure each meal made with your juicy bird tastes as special as the first.
Reinvent Turkey Leftovers
There are countless ways to create totally new meals out of yesterday’s turkey leftovers. Jazz up the standard leftover turkey-and-bread combo with tasty wraps and other specialty sandwiches, such as a Turkey, Bacon and Guacamole Wrap, Honey Mustard Turkey Tortillas or Taco Turkey Wedges. Substitute turkey in some of your standby chicken recipes, such as Turkey ala King, Turkey Divan or Turkey Noodle Soup. In the mood for a feel-good classic? Try Easy Turkey Pot Pie with a simple Bisquick crust. How about Turkey Enchiladas, Turkey Pasta Primavera or a Turkey and Dried Cherry Salad. Don’t forget about breakfast, staring hits such as Turkey Leek Strata or Collard Greens and Turkey Quiche. Find more recipes and inspiration at BettyCrocker.com—just search “turkey,” “chicken,” or “turkey leftovers.”
If you’ve got more leftover turkey than you can use in a timely manner, freeze some for delicious meals later. Consider portioning it out into usable amounts, such as a sandwich or main dish’s worth. Put your portions in airtight freezer-safe containers and clearly label each package with the freeze-date and the turkey’s prospective use. Note that according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, well packaged cooked turkey and other poultry retain their quality best if properly thawed and used within four months of freezing, though food frozen constantly at 0° F remains safe indefinitely.
Once you’ve carved the turkey, refrigerate or freeze the turkey carcass to make stock—additional ingredients are simply water; chopped celery, onion and perhaps carrots; plus some herbs and spices, if desired. Add the neck and giblets, or save them to make a stock all their own. Once made, measure your stock out to freeze into usable portions. Store-bought cans of Progresso broth, for example, are typically 14 ounces and boxes are 32, or you could also freeze the amount called for in your favorite recipe. Another option: Mix broth in an ice cube tray with any fresh herbs you have on hand, then transfer frozen cubes to a labeled freezer-safe container, where they’re always ready to add quick flavor to soups, casseroles and other dishes. Ideas for soup recipes special enough to showcase your homemade stock include Slow Cooker Red and White Turkey Chili, Slow Cooker North Woods Wild Rice Soup and “Healthified” Italian Sausage Soup. Of course, homemade soup crafted from homemade stock deserves homemade biscuits—you only need milk and Bisquick Baking Mix.