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Have more turkey than you can eat?


Flavorful recipes offered to use up the leftovers

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Have turkey leftover from the big feast? It can be used to make a variety of tasty dishes. Barb Randall shares several recipes in todays column.

I couldn’t help myself; even though we aren’t hosting Thanksgiving at our house, I bought a turkey to roast. Then I got nervous — how could my husband, Mark, and I possibly eat a 16-pound turkey?

I am thankful that turkey is such a versatile food. It can be used in salads, casseroles, soups, sandwiches, hash. It marries easily with the distinctive flavors of any number of cuisines: Asian, Mexican, American, Middle Eastern and more. That really helps when you are trying to morph the meat from that big bird into tantalizing meals for the next couple weeks.

Thinking you might like some ideas for using your leftovers, I gathered some tasty recipes for your consideration. Here are a few ideas:

My sister, Carol Smith, makes turkey enchiladas; many folks like turkey tetrazzini, a pasta dish with mushrooms, almonds and cheese.

Tidings Editor Lori Hall treats her family to Turkey Jambalaya (from “Cooking Light”) after Thanksgiving.

Review/Tidings Assistant Editor Kara Hansen has friends who make amazing concoctions of crepes filled with Thanksgiving leftovers. She suggests you could do the same with tortillas.

Review Editor Martin Forbes says his family just enjoys eating sandwiches and repeating the Thanksgiving meal until it is gone. Nothing wrong with that, friends.

I like to make a sriracha sauce to pour over cubes of turkey and rice and leftover vegetables. I suppose you could use mashed potatoes or stuffing in place of the rice. And to me, Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without a pot of turkey soup.

Today’s recipes are varied in flavor. By using these recipes, I am optimistic Mark and I can get through the big bird before it becomes boring. Hopefully you will have enough leftovers to try them, too. If not, plan on buying a bigger turkey next holiday.

Bon Appétit! Eat something wonderful!

Turkey Mulligatawny Soup with Cilantro

Makes about 14 cups, serving 10

the carcass of a roast turkey, broken into large pieces

about 4 1/2 quarts (18 cups) plus 1/3 cup water

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 1-inch cubes of peeled fresh gingerroot, finely chopped or grated

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons curry powder

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

2 large potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2 inch cubes

2 large onions, chopped

3 carrots, sliced into coins

1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk (available at Asian markets, specialty foods shops and some supermarkets)

1/4 cup fresh lime juice, or to taste

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

In a large kettle or stockpot, combine the carcass with 4 1/2 quarts of the water, or enough to cover it, and simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 3 hours. Strain the stock through a large sieve into a large bowl, return it to the kettle, and boil it until it is reduced to about 10 cups.

In a blender purée the garlic and the gingerroot with the remaining 1/3 cup water. In a heavy kettle, heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking, and in it cook the purée, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until the liquid is evaporated. Add the curry, cumin, potatoes, onion, carrots and 5 cups of the stock and simmer the mixture, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft. In the blender, purée the mixture in batches until it is smooth, transferring it after it is puréed to another large kettle. Stir in the remaining stock, coconut milk, lime juice and salt to taste, simmer the soup for 10 minutes and stir in the chopped cilantro. Serve with cilantro sprigs on top.

The soup may be made 2 days in advance, cooled completely, uncovered, and then refrigerated covered. The soup can be frozen for 2 months.

Adapted from “Gourmet,” November 2000

Lemon Turkey Soup with Fresh Spinach and Farfalle

Makes 4-6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

2 carrots, diced

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

8 cups (or more) fresh turkey broth* or canned low-salt chicken broth

2 cups dried farfalle (bow-tie) pasta

2 cups diced cooked turkey

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1/2 10-ounce package ready-to-use spinach leaves (about 6 cups)

Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and stir 1 minute. Add celery, carrots and red bell pepper and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add 8 cups broth and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer to blend flavors, about 20 minutes. Add pasta and simmer until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Mix turkey, lemon juice and lemon peel into soup. Add spinach. Simmer until spinach wilts but is still bright green, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Thin soup with additional broth, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Serve; add cheese if desired.

* Follow the instructions in Turkey Mulligatawny Soup with Cilantro to make turkey stock.

Adapted from “Bon Appétit,” January 2005

Soy-Braised Turkey with Turkey Rice

Makes 6 servings

Contributed by David Chang

To add flavor to dark turkey meat, David Chang simmers it in a deeply savory combination of brown sugar and soy sauce. Cooking jasmine rice with rendered turkey fat adds a wonderful richness. The topping — pickled shallot rings — adds a pretty pink color and piquancy.

1 medium shallot, thinly sliced, plus 1 small shallot, quartered

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sugar


1/3 cup light or low-sodium soy sauce

2 cups water

2 tablespoons light-brown sugar

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh ginger

3 cups shredded dark turkey meat

2 1/2 cups turkey stock or chicken stock

1 1/2 cups uncooked jasmine rice

1/4 cup rendered turkey fat

In a small bowl, combine the sliced shallot, red wine vinegar, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is softened, about 1 hour.

In a saucepan, mix the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, quartered shallot, garlic and ginger; bring to a boil. Add the dark turkey meat and cook over low heat, stirring, until the liquid is reduced by half, 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the turkey stock with the rice, turkey fat and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the rice is tender and the stock is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Cover the saucepan with a kitchen towel, then cover with the lid and let the rice steam for 20 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork. Spoon the soy-braised turkey into bowls, add the turkey rice and garnish with the pickled shallot rings.

Make ahead: The soy-braised turkey can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days; reheat before serving.

David Chang, Food & Wine Thanksgiving Challenge

Barb Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281 ext. 100 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow her on Twitter at @barbrandallfood.