Thanksgiving menu: Leftovers
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Nov 24, 2012 6:44 PM Last Post By: Pontex
Nov 20, 2012 5:22 PM
Thanksgiving menu: LeftoversOn Friday, a 16-pound fresh turkey was delivered to me; I had won a lottery that I didn't even remember entering. (It's easy to put your name down for free stuff when you think your chances of winning are slim to none.)
I had no idea how long it could stay in my refrigerator, so tonight I made stuffing, then semi-disassembled and semi-deboned the turkey, which now sits atop the stuffing in a roasting pan. Just the other night I had seen a broadcast of a "Julia and Jacques" episode in which Julia Child and Jacques Pépin took a turkey apart, deboned the legs and stuffed them, then put it all in a roasting pan so it looked like it had been reassembled. I didn't go that far. I only took out one of the two bones in each leg, then flattened the legs over the stuffing.
I live alone, many of my contemporaries are no longer alive, and I have no family here, so I will be eating turkey for a while. But it will be tasty, thanks to my stuffing and whatever side dishes I prepare each time that a serving of turkey comes out of the freezer. The stuffing is a simple bread stuffing: oven-dried bread, broken into small pieces; celery and onion that have been sautéed in butter until softened; chopped Granny Smith apples; and sage.
Cross-posted to Your Choice.
Nov 20, 2012 9:49 PM
1Deboning? Isn't that a pain in the neck?
Why food writers hate Thanksgiving
Nov 20, 2012 10:20 PM
2Even with excellent knives, the deboning was a pain, which is why I decided to stop short of removing all the bones from the legs. Jacques Pépin actually flattened the deboned leg, then rolled it around some stuffing. Because I won't be presenting the turkey at the table, the location of the stuffing didn't matter. It's all separated now: meat on a half baking sheet, stuffing in two casserole dishes, the lot of them in the refrigerator tonight.
Nov 20, 2012 10:28 PM
Nov 21, 2012 7:49 AM
42020 hindsight is always useful, right?
If lightning strikes again, I'd suggest donating the thing to a soup kitchen or food bank. Another possibility. My local soup kitchen requests cooked and cooled turkey.If you could find something similar, you could have roasted the thing, kept part & donated part.
Have you or will you use the bones etc. for stock? Some of the turkey can be frozen in stock for later use as soup. I've found that cooked poultry that has been frozen doesn't work for much of anything that isn't a soup or perhaps something with a lot of sauce, like enchiladas.
I'm going to do something similar. We can't possibly deal with a whole turkey, so I'm going to remove the legs and wings and freeze them for later. I already bought some wings & made stock, so don't need the wings now. I have no intention of boning anything, not even removing the backbone.
I will cook the giblets in stock for a combination of giblet gravy and cat food.
Nov 21, 2012 11:12 AM
5In the years I bought large turkeys, I would carefully take off the legs keeping as much skin as possible, cut off the knuckle and remove the skin. Strip the legs of meat and mince it with sausage meat and other stuffing, sow one end of the leg skin and stuff it, then sow up the other end, then either cook then separately or freeze them for some other occasion. The breast always takes longer and I never like over cooked turkey legs.
Nov 21, 2012 2:04 PM
Nov 21, 2012 3:21 PM
7I do lots of leftovers as casserole-type meals with rice, Midwesterner, and I just bought a five-pound bag of rice the other day. I will probably cube enough turkey for several such meals. About the stuffing: I think I made about a gallon and a half.
I almost forgot: The New York Times has a recipe for Turkey Biryani in its Dining section today. Myanmarbound's link and posts above came to mind when I saw it.
Edited by NorthAmerican.
Nov 21, 2012 3:51 PM
8Jeez, I'm impressed and slightly intimidated. I've never been brave enough to try this nor any other variation mentioned. One suggestion, that may not apply, at all, if the quantity of turkey seems intimidating, (left-overs not withstanding) is to call your nearest college/univ./community college and invite a couple of foreign students over for dinner, or left-overs. (This IS a travel branch, sort of..)
We did it a couple of times in Chicago and it was always interesting and usually fun. I always wish I could have read their letters home, after.
Nov 22, 2012 2:03 AM
9Chop up left over turkey either cooked or uncooked into fairly sizeable pieces and make a nice spicy fragrant thick curry out of them.
Could be Indian,Indonesian,Malaysian,Thai,SEAsian or even Middle Eastern flavours.
They freeze and keep very well for ages in the freezer.
Nov 23, 2012 5:41 AM
A friend of mine won a trip to Brazil for two that way. Was he surprised?!
But, that's a huge bird, and probably wouldn't fit in my oven - I always make whole turkey, with bones in, and stuffed full inside the cavity.
As for the leftovers, caserole, as MW #7 suggested, will be probaly the best way to handle it and not let it spoil. You can also use cubed or diced meat/leftoveers in soups. Just boil some root vegs with chicken stock and add the meat.
Nov 23, 2012 6:02 AM
11Well, almost half of the turkey is gone.
A woman who is a longtime friend and a former colleague recently moved to a building for elderly people who can't manage on their own anymore, and when we talked the day before Thanksgiving and she heard about my turkey she invited me for Thanksgiving dinner. She said that if I would bring the dinner she would provide the wine.
On the day itself, I took one-half of the breast with me, plus about four servings of stuffing, potatoes that I boiled and mashed that morning, and a clafoutis aux pommes that I put together that morning as well. You can see it just out of the oven, cooling on top of the stove, here.
I had last seen this friend in her old apartment about three weeks ago, so it was a very pleasant day; two old friends reminiscing over a reheated meal and several glasses of cabernet franc. Because I had taken so much food, my friend now has turkey for a couple of days, and I have less of a problem dealing with my own leftovers.
Nov 23, 2012 8:01 AM
12I bought a 21 pound turkey for the 2 of us. I wanted to have leftovers. Since my husband will only eat white meat and I prefer white but will eat dark, our dog will be getting good snacks for a while.
I made the mashed potatoes on Wednesday to re-heat yesterday, along with cutting up the veggies for the stuffing. I made gallons and gallons of stuffing, put what I could fit in the turkey (without deboning) and had to put the rest in two large casserole dishes to fit it all in, then I mixed the stuff in the turkey with the other before serving.
Every other Thanksgiving has been with my in-laws. I used her basic recipe with a few changes. I put more chicken stock in the stuffing, used dried sage instead of poultry seasoning and put slivered garlic in the cooking bag with the turkey which I then put in the gravey. I haven't overeaten on Thanksgiving for years but it came out so well I was suffering for hours afterwards.
Today I'll be boiling the bones for stock.
Nov 23, 2012 8:08 AM
Nov 23, 2012 8:17 AM
14Definitely NA. We have loads of leftovers in the freezer and some in the fridge. We love Turkey day leftovers!
BTW - I admire your tenacity and skill in deboning the turkey. I have a lot of patience for some things but I hate deboning fowl.
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