All Those Turkey Leftovers…

If you’re like me you always over estimate the size of turkey you need but you don’t realize it until dinner is done, everyone is full and you have half a turkey left!

Turkey sandwiches and reheated plates of turkey dinner are only acceptable in my house one or two days post turkey dinner. So what do to with all the rest?

If you are totally sick of cooking you can chop it up and freeze it in freezer bags. Just be sure to freeze in one or two cup portions and label the bag properly. There is nothing worse than pulling food out of your freezer and not really knowing if its chili or spaghetti sauce – trust me I speak from experience.

Or you could cook now and freeze for later. Turkey stew, pot pie, or turkey Sheppard’s pie are great because you can use your leftover vegetables too. Turkey rice soup and turkey chili are also great meal ideas that freeze well.

I decided to freeze some turkey and make turkey pot pie with the rest.

I have a delicious recipe from Martha Stewart that I use a lot ( I always add in extra vegetables when I am making potpies, Sheppard’s pie, soup, stews and chili.  You can use or add in different vegetables then what the recipe calls for – use what you have on hand. Try mushrooms, green beans, asparagus, corn, diced sweet potato, parsnips or squash.

Turkey Potpie
·         2 tablespoons unsalted butter
·         1 large onion, diced
·         2 large carrots, diced
·         1/2 cup all-purpose flour
·         Coarse salt and ground pepper
·         4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
·         3 cups cooked turkey, cut into 1-inch pieces (1 pound total)  
·         1 ½ cups frozen peas
·         1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
·         1 sheet frozen phyllo pastry, thawed
·         1 large egg yolk

1.      In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium. Add onion and carrot and cook until onion softens, about 6 minutes.

Add flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden, has a slightly nutty aroma, and is the texture of cooked oatmeal, about 5 minutes.

2.      Whisking constantly, add broth. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, about 8 minutes. Reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.

Stir in turkey, peas, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Carefully pour mixture into a 3 quart 8x11 casserole dish.

If you are using leftover cooked vegetables add them in here when you add the turkey.

I doubled this recipe to make two - one for now and one for the freezer.

3.      Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Gently lay pastry on top of the casserole dish. Using  the tip of a sharp knife, cut vents into pastry. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water; brush pastry with egg wash. Bake until pastry is deep golden and juices are bubbling, about 35 minutes.

What's your favourite way to use turkey leftovers?
Stay tuned on Wednesday December 26th we will show you how to make turkey stock. You will just need to save your turkey bones until then.  
                                                                                       Shannon RD