Leftover Turkey 5 Ways by Toby Amidor in 1 Food, 5 Ways, Thanksgiving, November 26, 2009
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Who doesn’t love leftover turkey? Here are five yummy dishes to try, but we know the list is endless.
Keeping Leftovers Safe
First things first, let’s talk about safety. For the best quality and freshness, eat up what’s left on your bird within four days, five max. When you’re reheating that leftover turkey or tossing it in a new dish, you need to remember to check the temperature. Do this by inserting a thermometer into the thickest part; it should read at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t leave your leftovers out at room temperature for more than two hours (the less time the better). After you’ve whipped up that new dish, be sure to refrigerate what’s left once it’s cooled.
With cool weather setting in, soup is a perfect way to warm up. Save those turkey bones; they help flavor up your soup and add minerals that are absorbed from the turkey bone (e.g. calcium and zinc). Toss in leftover veggies — Brussels sprouts, string beans, potatoes and onions — for even more flavor. To properly cool soup for storage, divide it into smaller containers and stir. Refrigerate food after it’s reached room temperature (around 70 degrees Fahrenheit).
RECIPE: Next Day Turkey Soup
Chinese Turkey Salad
Top your salad with diced-up turkey. In this recipe, a combination of Asian flavors — soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger and sesame oil — creates a delicious dressing. As an alternative dressing, use your leftover cranberry sauce on any bed of greens.
Recipe: Chinese Turkey Salad
Throw those leftovers in a tortilla, sprinkle with cheese and bake for 15 minutes. It’s a big hit in my family that both adults and kids love. If you don’t want to roll and bake, create a traditional leftover turkey sandwich with whole-wheat bread, turkey, cranberry sauce or gravy.
Recipe: Leftover Turkey or Chicken Enchiladas
Turkey Pot Pie
Toss in your cooked turkey, carrots, mushrooms, peas and onions and you’ve got yourself a masterpiece. Try cooking up individual pies in small oven-proof bowls (also a good way to control the portion size).
Another cold-weather classic dish, chili tastes great with cooked turkey; it also cuts the cooking time (this dish takes 30 minutes to make). Add your favorite beans, spice it up with some hot peppers and top with some gooey melted cheese. Turkey is a pretty low-calorie protein, which leaves room for adding a touch of those higher-fat ingredients such as cheese.
RECIPE: Leftover Turkey or Chicken Chili
TELL US: What’s your favorite way to enjoy leftover turkey?