For we Epicureans, Thanksgiving is an absolutely wonderful time not just to celebrate the traditions of family but also the traditions of food. Much evolved from what the holiday used to celebrate, these days Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to reunite with old friends or family that live far away and recreate the dishes we remember from youth. Ask anyone who regularly hosts a Thanksgiving dinner and they can list the exact dishes that need to be seen on the table to make the day complete.
But so much food oftentimes leads to lots and lots of leftovers, especially turkey. And sure, who doesn’t love a good open-faced sandwich with all the usual suspects: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and maybe even a little cranberry sauce for zing. This year, we thought we would offer a few more healthy ways to use up all that extra bird and stuffing… especially if your houseguests are staying for a few days. These recipes compliment each other well, allowing for a lighter follow up to the Turkey Day overload. It also offers a great way to finish off those half-full bottles of wine!
Our very first recommendation is to make a turkey broth. It takes almost no effort (and will come in very handy in one of our following recipes…) To save room in an already crowded fridge, most people pick all the remaining meat off of their turkey anyway, so that puts you almost halfway to prepping the broth. Just make sure to save that turkey carcass!
Turkey carcass including leg bones
2 large carrots
1 large onion
2 small stalks of celery
TBS black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme
4 sprigs of parsley
small pinch of salt
Peel and chop all vegetables. Put all ingredients in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, skimming off any fat that rises to the surface. Reduce to a very low simmer and cook for 2 to 3 hours. Let cool slightly and then strain.
And voila! You have just made a delicious turkey broth. This will come in very handy for our first alternative take on leftovers: turkey, wild rice and vegetable soup.
Turkey, wild rice and vegetable soup
2 quarts turkey broth
1/2 C uncooked wild rice
2 C shredded turkey meat
8 crimini mushrooms
1 large carrot
3 celery stalks
1 small red bell pepper
Italian parsley for garnish
Place rice in a pot with 3 cups cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until rice is fully cooked. Strain off extra water and set rice aside to cool.
Slice all vegetables and sauté in a large soup pot for 5 minutes, or just until they start to soften. Add shredded turkey and turkey broth to the vegetables. Simmer for 20 minutes and adjust seasoning. Add wild rice just before serving. Garnish with pieces of parsley.
Our next recipe is a take on a classic Waldorf salad, with a few small changes including celery root and a delicious yogurt honey-lime dressing.
Turkey Waldorf Salad
2 C shredded turkey meat
1 large celery root
4 stalks of celery with inner leaves
2 C cooked walnuts
2 C red grapes
2 Honey Crisp apples
1 C whole milk greek yogurt
2 TBS mayonnaise
1 lime- juiced
2 TBS honey
pinch of salt
First, make the dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a small bowl. Adjust for seasoning and sweetness.
Peel the celery root and cut into matchsticks. Toss with half the dressing and set aside. Slice the grapes, apples, and celery. Add these as well as the walnuts and shredded turkey to the celery root. Mix well, adding more dressing if necessary. Garnish with celery leaves.
This salad works great with our Underwood Pinot Noir!
The third act in our trio of recipes uses not only leftover turkey but some of the stuffing and cranberry sauce as well.
I absolutely love a good quiche, especially when paired with a crisp glass of our Underwood Pinot Gris. But for me, the crust is the most important part. There are very decent pre-made crusts you can buy at the supermarket these days, but a homemade crust is just soooo good and much easier to make than you’d think.
3 C all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 C cold butter
1/2 C shortening
3 TBS water
Cut butter into very small pieces. Put all dry ingredients into a mixer to combine. Slowly feed in the butter chunks and shortening until mixed well. Slowly add water until the dough is fully combined but not too wet.
Separate into 2 disks, wrap in plastic and let sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour. When ready, roll out as demonstrated here…
1 C shredded turkey
1 C leftover stuffing
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
5 whole eggs
1/2 C of half and half
salt and pepper
Whether using a store bought crust or a homemade one, you first want to pre bake the crust in the dish. Set the oven at 375 degrees, roll dough evenly in the pan and bake for 10-15 minutes until it just starts to color. Remove from the oven.
Whisk the eggs and half and half together. Season this mix with salt and pepper. Evenly distribute the turkey, stuffing, and cheese in the pie shell. Pour egg mixture slowly over the top. Return to the oven and cook until the egg is set, usually about 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving.
Garnish with cranberry sauce.
We hope you had a successful and delicious holiday! From everyone here in the Union Family, we wish your family a Happy Thanksgiving, and remember to keep those pinkies down!
Photography, Text and Recipe by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)