Tag Archives: turkey

Turkey Pot Pie

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Turkey leftovers…….after a big Thanksgiving dinner, they seem to haunt you for days on end.  In the immediate aftermath of the turkey coma sandwiches filled with turkey, stuffing, and gravy are on the menu.  Next you might simply reheat the original meal but after that what do you do with your mounds of turkey?  In reality, the possibilities are endless.

Turkey pot pie is one of my all time favorite uses for leftover turkey.  Turkey and vegetables cooked in a creamy sauce and hidden beneath a flaky crust make for the ultimate cool weather comfort food.  This recipe is an adaptation of one from America’s Test Kitchen.  The recipe is extremely flexible; add or subtract vegetables as you like, use more turkey or less, and it will still be good.  You can make the pie as one large casserole topped with either a traditional crust, biscuits, or even store-bought phyllo dough or puff pastry if you are short on time.  Alternatively, you can make the pies in individual dishes which is my preferred way to serve them.  Regardless of the crust you use, make sure the filling in hot when you place it on top otherwise you will end up with a soggy crust.

Serve the pot pies up with some left over cranberry sauce and watch them disappear.

TURKEY POT PIE

For the pie crust:

6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons cold buttermilk or water

  • Using a pastry cutter, two forks, or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, cut together the butter and flour until the mixture is uniformly blended and resembles coarse cornmeal.
  • In half tablespoon increments, add the buttermilk or water and stir, cut, or process until the dough just holds together.  You might not need to use all of the liquid.
  • Divide the dough in half and cover and set one half aside.
  • Place the piece of dough between two sheets of waxed or parchment paper.  Using a rolling pin roll and stretch the dough into a large circle.  Roughly divide the circle into four equal pieces, loosely cover with waxed paper or plastic wrap, and set aside until ready to use.

For the filling:

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into small coins

1 stalk celery, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Teaspoons fresh thyme, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 bay leaves

3 cups cooked turkey, cut into bite sized pieces

1/3 cup frozen peas

1/3 cup frozen or canned corn kernels

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425.
  • Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat.  Add the carrots, celery, onion, and salt and saute for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent.
  • Add in the garlic and thyme and saute for 15 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Stir in the flour and wine scraping up any stuck bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the broth, cream, and bay leaves and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
    Stir in the turkey until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Discard the bay leaves and stir in the peas and corn.
  • Divide the filling evenly between 4 oven-proof bowls, mini-casserole dishes or other individual serving dishes.  (Alternatively, pour the entire mixture into a single large casserole dish).
  • Using the reserved crust, place one piece of dough over the top of each casserole dish.  Use a sharp knife to trim the excess dough from the edges of each dish and crimp the edges to form a seal.   Cut two or three slits into the top of the crust to allow steam to escape.
  • Place the casseroles on a large rimmed baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is browned and the filling in bubbly.
  • Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serves 4

For other turkey inspired recipes check out the following:

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Turkey & Roasted Red Pepper Calzones

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Turkey leftovers…….after a big Thanksgiving dinner, they seem to haunt you for days on end.  In the immediate aftermath of the turkey coma sandwiches filled with turkey, stuffing, and gravy are on the menu.  Next you might simply reheat the original meal but after that what do you do with your mounds of turkey?  In reality, the possibilities are endless.

Right about now, after four full turkey dinners plus an assortment of leftovers, I’m just plain tired of turkey.  But I still have a lot of turkey in the refrigerator that needs to be eaten.  Last night’s solution was to use the turkey in a way that is decidedly un-Thanksgiving like. There wasn’t any mashed potatoes, bread stuffing, or Brussels spouts on the dinner table. Instead, I put a Mediterranean twist on the turkey and made calzones stuffed with red peppers, lots of gooey cheese, and yes, turkey.  The calzone crust is a Williams Sonoma flat bread recipe but the filling is all pantry and refrigerator leftovers.  I served it with a marinara dipping sauce but I think the calzones would be especially good accompanied by a roasted red pepper and eggplant avjar.

TURKEY & ROASTED RED PEPPER CALZONES

For the pastry:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

1/2 tablespoon sugar

1/2 tablespoon salt

3/4 cup warm water

1 tablespoon olive oil

  • In a food processor, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt and pulse to blend.  Add the warm water and the olive oil and pulse until the dough comes together.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 to 2 minutes to form a smooth ball.
  • Place the dough in a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in bulk and is very spongy, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, punch it down, and knead it into a smooth cylinder.  Reshape the dough into a smooth ball and allow it to sit, covered with a dry kitchen towel, for 10 minutes.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough ball into a cylinder that is 10 inches long.  Cut into 10 even pieces and roll each piece into a smooth ball.  Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.

For the filling:

1 cup diced cooked turkey

1/3 cup ricotta cheese

2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup minced green onion

3/4 cup diced roasted red peppers

1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme

Salt & pepper to taste

1 egg, slightly beaten

  • Combine the turkey, cheese, green onion, red peppers and thyme in a small bowl and toss well to combine.  Season with salt and pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough ball into a round that is 5 to 6 inches in diameter and 1/8 of an inch thick.
  • Divide the calzone filling evenly on the center of each round and brush the edges of the dough with water.
  • Life the edges, stretching and adjusting the dough and compacting the filling, so the edges meet in the center.  Firmly crimps the edges and transfer each calzone, seam side down, to the prepared baking sheet.
  • Cut a small steam vent into the top of each calzone.
  • Place the egg in a small bowl and add 2 teaspoons of water.  Brush the egg wash over the top of each calzone.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

Yields: 10 calzones

Roast Turkey (From the Frozen State)

When we lived in Albania putting together a Thanksgiving meal was always a production. Ironically enough, the hardest part of the the holiday was actually buying the food. Turkeys and to be procured from the commissary in neighboring Kosovo, the highly coveted sweet potatoes were bought in Italy months in advance and stashed in the coolest place in the house and pecans were imported from the United States. Once I had all of my ingredients I had two full kitchens and several refrigerators and freezers in which I could prepare and store the meal. Our dinners were epic in scale as well; one year our guests totaled 26 people around three tables. I prepared all of the food myself and slow roasted my birds in shifts. It worked because I had the space.

Fast forward to Belgium where space–both in the refrigerator and in the oven–are at a premium. As in I have European scaled appliances that don’t allow for any extras. Dishes are selected based on what does or doesn’t need to be cooked in an oven or can be served at room temperature. And defrosting the turkey? Its a nightmare. But last year I took a new approach to cooking my bird and it is one that I’m now adopting as the only way to cook my turkey.

In Albania my friend Anne always insisted on cooking her turkey from the frozen state. Yes that is right. She would plunk her fully frozen turkey in the oven and let it cook. I laughed when I first heard about this method since it flew in the face of everything I had ever heard of. But she sent me articles to attest to its legitimacy and assured me that this was an easier and safer method that allowed you to skip the lengthy defrosting process and resulted in a juicy and flavorful bird. For three years I resisted this method, not only because I was skeptical but because I had plenty of refrigerator space to safely defrost the bird and ovens to cook it in. But times change……..

So with a bit of trepidation and an assurance that I could contact Anne during the cooking process if needed, I attempted to roast my first frozen turkey. Because the bird is completely frozen it does take more time to cook than a defrosted one. There was also the somewhat humorous removing of the partially defrosted bag containing the neck and organ meats from the hot bird and the subsequent stuffing of the carcass. (Honestly, none of which is easy when using oven mitts). But the results? So worth it. The bird was juicy, flavorful and perfectly cooked. And getting to skip the arduous defrosting process? Now that was priceless. So tomorrow I’ll be taking the same approach which will allow me to focus on the other dishes that will complete the meal. It will be stress free……..but that can also be chalked up to hosting a mere 11 guests this year.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

turkey

 

ROAST TURKEY (from the frozen state)

1 12-13 pound frozen turkey

  • About 5 to 5 1/2 hours before you plan on serving, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. (This allows your turkey to rest for about 1/2 an hour before carving. Adjust your timing for a smaller or larger bird).
  • Remove the turkey from any wrapping and place it on a rack in a large yet shallow rimmed roasting pan.
  • Place the turkey in the oven and allow it to cook.
  • After about 2 to 2 1/2 hours the legs will be at approximately 100 degrees but the breasts will only be about 25 degrees. Insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast to monitor the temperature of the bird.
  • Ater about 3 1/2 hours you should be able very carefully remove the bag containing the neck and internal organs. Use oven mitts and tongs to do this. At this point you may also fill the cavity with your favorite dressing.
  • Continue to monitor the temperature of the breast which must reach an internal temperature of 175 to 185 degrees to be considered done.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven, tent with aluminum foil and several dish towels and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

Enjoy!

 

Turkey Pot Pie

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Turkey leftovers…….after a big Thanksgiving dinner, they seem to haunt you for days on end.  In the immediate aftermath of the turkey coma sandwiches filled with turkey, stuffing, and gravy are on the menu.  Next you might simply reheat the original meal but after that what do you do with your mounds of turkey?  In reality, the possibilities are endless.

Turkey pot pie is one of my all time favorite uses for leftover turkey.  Turkey and vegetables cooked in a creamy sauce and hidden beneath a flaky crust make for the ultimate cool weather comfort food.  This recipe is an adaptation of one from America’s Test Kitchen.  The recipe is extremely flexible; add or subtract vegetables as you like, use more turkey or less, and it will still be good.  You can make the pie as one large casserole topped with either a traditional crust, biscuits, or even store-bought phyllo dough or puff pastry if you are short on time.  Alternatively, you can make the pies in individual dishes which is my preferred way to serve them.  Regardless of the crust you use, make sure the filling in hot when you place it on top otherwise you will end up with a soggy crust.

Serve the pot pies up with some left over cranberry sauce and watch them disappear.

TURKEY POT PIE

For the pie crust:

6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons cold buttermilk or water

  • Using a pastry cutter, two forks, or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, cut together the butter and flour until the mixture is uniformly blended and resembles coarse cornmeal.
  • In half tablespoon increments, add the buttermilk or water and stir, cut, or process until the dough just holds together.  You might not need to use all of the liquid.
  • Divide the dough in half and cover and set one half aside.
  • Place the piece of dough between two sheets of waxed or parchment paper.  Using a rolling pin roll and stretch the dough into a large circle.  Roughly divide the circle into four equal pieces, loosely cover with waxed paper or plastic wrap, and set aside until ready to use.

For the filling:

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into small coins

1 stalk celery, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Teaspoons fresh thyme, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 bay leaves

3 cups cooked turkey, cut into bite sized pieces

1/3 cup frozen peas

1/3 cup frozen or canned corn kernels

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425.
  • Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat.  Add the carrots, celery, onion, and salt and saute for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent.
  • Add in the garlic and thyme and saute for 15 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Stir in the flour and wine scraping up any stuck bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the broth, cream, and bay leaves and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
  • Add the turkey and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Discard the bay leaves and stir in the peas and corn.
  • Divide the filling evenly between 4 oven-proof bowls, mini-casserole dishes or other individual serving dishes.  (Alternatively, pour the entire mixture into a single large casserole dish).
  • Using the reserved crust, place one piece of dough over the top of each casserole dish.  Use a sharp knife to trim the excess dough from the edges of each dish and crimp the edges to form a seal.   Cut two or three slits into the top of the crust to allow steam to escape.
  • Place the casseroles on a large rimmed baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is browned and the filling in bubbly.
  • Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serves 4

For other turkey inspired recipes check out the following:

 

Turkey Cutlets w/ Red Pepper Cream

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When we were working at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana, Albania, we were fortunate enough to have an on site cafeteria that provided a variety of lunch options at reasonable prices. The food wasn’t always great but it was convenient and after eating there enough you quickly learned which dishes were better than others. The cooks loved to serve overcooked meats “enscalope” as they called it and we learned that this essentially meant meat covered in some sort of cream sauce. A favorite of Glenn’s was chicken filets covered in a pepper cream sauce. He took to ordering it so frequently, even when it wasn’t on the menu, that the kitchen staff began calling it “the Glenn”.

We’ve since left Albania but when my husband mentioned “the Glenn” I decided to recreate the dish here in Belgium. In an attempt to make my dish taste as authentic as possible, I used avjar as my red pepper base. Avjar is to the Balkans what ketchup is to Americans; it is essentially slathered on everything, eaten as a dip, condiment for meats or spread on sandwiches. The ingredients vary by region but the one I am most familiar with includes roasted red peppers and eggplant. It is actually quite easy to make but if you don’t want to make your own, you can find it in the ethic food section of your grocery store. I also substituted turkey breasts for the chicken but you could also use boneless pork chops or even a firm white fish.

Turkey Cutlets w/ Red Pepper Cream

4 thin turkey cutlets

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/4 cup red onion, minced

1 1/2 cups avjar

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons mascarpone

  • Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium high heat.
  • Season the turkey cutlets on both sides with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Place the turkey in the skillet and cook until it is lightly browned, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the meat over and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the remaining oil to the skillet. When the oil is shimmering, reduce the heat to medium and add the onions. Saute until fragrant and lightly brown, 3-4 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the avjar. Stirring constantly cook until the sauce is heated through.
  • Stir in the cream and mascarpone and heat until the cheese has melted and the mixture is hot.
  • Return the turkey to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Serve the cutlets with the sauce on top.

Serves 4

Turkey Tetrazzini

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

With the past year’s Thanksgiving a distant memory your probably think that all of your leftover turkey is a distant memory.  Each year I feel this way then I stumble across a lingering package of turkey tucked away in the freezer.  My solution?  A quick turkey tetrazzini.  This classic noodle and poultry casserole was a staple in my elementary school cafeterias.  This updated version from Williams Sonoma has done away with the infamous cream of mushroom soup that formed the base of my childhood version and uses real mushrooms and real parmesan cheese.  And best of all, because you are using pre-cooked meat that has defrosted in your refrigerator during the day, dinner can really be on the table in less than 45 minutes.

TURKEY TETRAZZINI

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 shallots, minced

1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 cups shredded cooked turkey

1/2 pound egg noodles, cooked according to the package instructions

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 green onions, chopped

1 cup panko crumbs

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish or 6 individual ramekins with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large frying pan set over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.  Add the shallots and mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl.
  • In the same pan melt 4 more tablespoons of the butter.  Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Add the broth and bring to a boil.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the salt and pepper.
  • Pour the sauce into the bowl with the mushrooms and add in the turkey, cooked noodles, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and the green onions then stir to combine.
  • Melt the remaining butter in the microwave.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the panko crumbs, remaining cheese, and the melted butter.
  • Transfer the turkey mixture to the prepared baking dish(es) and sprinkle the crumb and cheese mixture evenly over the top.
  • Bake until the tetrazzini is bubbly around the edges and the crumbs are golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Turkey Pasta Soup

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Turkey leftovers…….after a big Thanksgiving dinner, they seem to haunt you for days on end.  In the immediate aftermath of the turkey coma sandwiches filled with turkey, stuffing, and gravy are on the menu.  Next you might simply reheat the original meal but after that what do you do with your mounds of turkey?  In reality, the possibilities are endless.

So what do you make when you’ve eaten just about all of the turkey and you’re left with scraps of meat and bones?  You make soup.  Its easy and the best way to finish up the last bit of the bird.  This soup is more of a method than an exact recipe. If you are short on time or don’t have the turkey carcass, you can use pre-made broth.  But if you still have the bones, don’t throw them out; use them to make a flavorful broth and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

TURKEY PASTA SOUP

1 turkey carcass

5 bay leaves, divided

1/2 tablespoon whole peppercorns

2 large carrots, chopped

3 ribs celery, chopped

1 medium onion, diced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 cups cooked turkey, cut into bite sized pieces

8 ounces small pasta of your choice

  • Remove any excess fat or skin from the turkey carcass and place in a large stockpot.  Add four bay leaves and the peppercorns.
  • Cover the turkey bones with water (the amount of water will depend upon the amount of bones and the size of your pot). Turn the stove to high and bring to a boil.
  • Once the water is boiling, cover the pot and reduce the temperature to allow for a continuous low simmer.  Continue to simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  You should have a flavorful broth.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Remove the turkey bones from the pot and discard.  Strain the liquid into a large soup pot to remove any remaining solids and return the liquid to the stove set over medium-high heat.
  • Add the carrots, celery, onion, remaining bay leaf, salt, pepper, and cooked turkey.  Simmer covered for 1/2 hour.
  • Adjust the seasonings and add in the pasta.  Cook until the pasta is al dente, approximately  8-10 minutes depending upon the size of your pasta.

Serves 6-8

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