Every year after Thanksgiving we try to think of ways to use up leftover turkey without repeating the same meal over and over again.
Turkey soup is an old standard. Predictable sure, but hey, when else do you have a huge carcass of meaty poultry bones sitting there waiting to be made into rich, flavorful stock?
You really ought to make some soup, but it doesn't have to be boring. We came up with recipes for a rich creamy leek and artichoke soup with turkey, a lightened-up (and easier) Italian Wedding Soup that uses chopped, cooked turkey instead of meatballs, and a simple, elegant onion soup made with turkey stock and apple cider.
To make great stock, trim most of the meat away from the bones and reserve, then roast the bones in a 400-degree oven until they are quite dark brown. Break up the carcass and put it in a large pot with a big carrot, an onion and two celery ribs (all roughly chopped), a handful of parsley, a few peppercorns, a bay leaf and a sprig of thyme. Simmer for at least 4 to 5 hours. Do not boil. Strain and remove fat before using. If you have time, chill overnight and remove solid fat. Freeze any extra stock for later use.
The other standby is turkey salad -- again, think outside the box and it's a great way to creatively dress up all that good meat with any sort of flavors you like.
If you find a turkey salad recipe you really like, substitute chicken after the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, or better yet remember turkey can be enjoyed throughout the year and get a healthy, almost fat-free turkey tenderloin. Poach it gently in broth then chill and dice to make salad. Use the broth for soup.
Try these salad ideas:
-- Asian-style: Soy-sesame dressing (you can get very good quality bottled soy-ginger-sesame dressings), pickled ginger, diced English cucumber, red pepper, shredded napa cabbage, and cilantro. Garnish with chow mein noodles or fried wonton strips if you like.
-- Genovese-style: Light vinaigrette, crispy fried pancetta, Gorgonzola cheese, diced pears and toasted walnuts, garnished with basil.
-- Chipotle: Rinsed and drained black beans, sweet red pepper, chipotle mayo, and cilantro.
-- Fall fruit: Apple, pecans, roasted sweet potato, scallions, and maple vinaigrette (recipe below).
-- Carribean-style: Red onion, mango, parsley, rum-soaked raisins, grilled pineapple and jerk vinaigrette (recipe below).
-- Greek-style: Cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, diced cucumber, kalamata olives, and bottled Greek dressing.
Turkey and Dressing Patties
Makes 8 patties
2 cups cooked turkey, shredded or minced
2 cups cooked dressing
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Mix the turkey, stuffing, and egg
well. Add salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
2. Form into 8 thick patties and place on a sheet pan covered with nonstick foil. Freeze. When frozen solid, wrap individually in plastic wrap and pack into heavy freezer zipper bags.
Note: These can be unwrapped and baked or fried from the frozen state later in the winter when you want an easy warm meal, or for quicker cooking microwave to thaw, but be careful
they don't fall apart. Great served with gravy.
Creamy Turkey Soup with Leeks and Artichokes
4 tablespoons butter
3 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced and washed
1/4 cup flour
4 cups chicken or turkey stock
1 can artichoke heart quarters
1 pint heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 cups diced turkey
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1. Melt the butter in a large pot and add the leeks. Season with salt and cook slowly until tender but not browning. Add the flour and blend well, then whisk in the stock and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
2. Add the artichoke hearts and simmer 10 minutes.
3. Add the cream, nutmeg, white pepper and turkey. Stir over low heat until hot but not boiling. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
4. Remove from heat and add the Parmesan cheese, reserving enough to sprinkle on each bowl as a garnish.
Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey
Source: Adapted from Williams Sonoma
1 quart chicken or turkey stock
1 large carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup kale, stems removed, leaves cut into thin strips, packed
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
1 can (15 oz.) white cannellini beans, drained
2 cups diced cooked turkey
1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the broth, water, carrots, garlic and the kale. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the carrots are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
2. Add the white beans and turkey to the soup and bring to a simmer. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, add the cheese, and ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Pass more grated cheese at the table.
Onion Soup with Turkey and Apple Cider
Source: Adapted from Bon Appetit
Makes 6 servings
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 large onions (about 3 1/2 pounds), halved, thinly sliced
3 cup chicken or
2 1/2 cups apple cider
12 large thyme sprigs
2 cups chopped cooked turkey
- chopped fresh thyme
1. Melt butter with oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions; saute until soft and dark brown, about 20 minutes.
2. Add stock, cider, and thyme sprigs. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; season with salt and pepper. Simmer soup, uncovered, 25 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs. Add turkey and bring to simmer.
Source: Martha Stewart
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 Whisk together olive oil, cider vinegar, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
Makes about 1 cup
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 to 2 teaspoons jarred Jamaican Jerk marinade
- dash salt
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1. Whisk all ingredients together and use immediately.