DEBORAH CROMBIE: Or ... What to do with the damned turkey!
For those of you who, like me, are designated as Keeper of the Sacred Bird, you have to deal with the aftermath!
And, of course, those of you who don't have to address the business of the turkey carcass are saying, "Turkey sandwiches. Yum!"
Okay, the neatly sliced turkey is easy enough, into the baggies or Tupperware it goes. It's the rest of it that's the problem, all that good stuff that's left on the bones, and I'm the one that's usually still standing in the kitchen at midnight on Thanksgiving night, staring in distress at the bird.
A friend suggested that I could just THROW IT OUT. I recoiled in horror. Throw out the turkey??? Sacrilege. My mother and my grandmother lived through the Depression. The turkey was never thrown out. There was turkey hash and turkey soup and turkey tetrazini until I never wanted to see another turkey as long as I lived, and especially not a month later at Christmas.
Funny thing, though--no one ever went to such pains to get every bit of meat off a chicken, so I'm not quite sure I follow the logic of this dictum.
Perhaps this year I'll take my friend's advice and just dump the remains IN THE TRASH.
There. I've at least contemplated the deed. But just in case I change my mind, do my fellow Reds and our fabulous readers have any must-make ideas for leftover turkey????
JAN BROGAN:: I haven't actually done this myself, but my husband heard this story and I may try it this year. You either get a store bought pie crust or you make one yourself and stuff all the leftovers TOGETHER inside the pie and bake it.
I'm a little picky. There are certain leftovers I would not include. But it would be a culinary adventure, if nothing else.
RHYS BOWEN: John always makes turkey curry, in fact the family often begs us to cook a turkey during the year so they can have the turkey curry more often. We'll have it on Boxing Day!
ROSEMARY HARRIS: What leftovers?
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Turkey tetrazzini. It is DELICIOUS!!! White meat shredded, and sautteed mushrooms, and a white wine cream sauce, mix all together, bake with a huge amount of parmesan on top. It takes EVERY pan and dish in the kitchen, and it is fabulous. (Email me if you want the recipe. Or--ask the Joy of Cooking. :-) Just add more wine and mushrooms and pepper than it calls for.)
HALLIE EPHRON: Mmmm, turkey tetrazzini. Haven't had that in ages. We used to make it with sherry.
At our house, we pick pick pick until there's not much meat left on those bones, and then break up the carcass and it goes into the soup pot with lots of chopped up carrots and celery and onions, and TURNIP (don't forget turnip)! Some bouillon cubes (after it's cooked a carcass doesn't have quite enough taste), S&P and a handful of parsley and a few bay leaves, peppercorns, plus any of your favorite herbs of course. Cover with water, bring it to a boil and simmer for hours. I add lots of quartered mushrooms when it's about an hour from done.
Cool it. Fish out the bones and rescue the meat which goes back into the pot.
Voila. Dinner for at least another 3 nights.
LUCY BURDETTE: Yeah, I'm in the "what leftovers" camp. I bought a 20-pounder and I hope it's enough! But I love all the Reds ideas so ready if needed!
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: The whole point of roasting a turkey is to have leftovers! In fact, in those rare times when we're not hosting the dinner ourselves, I go out and get either a hotel-style breast or a very small turkey to cook at home. And I'm with Hallie - don't bother to make something else with it, just send anyone hungry to the fridge with orders to slice off a bit until it's gone. Then it's time to make and freeze turkey broth! That homemade broth is the basis for every soup my family eats between Thanksgiving and New Year's.
DEBS: Hank and Hallie, my mom used to make turkey tetrazini with sherry, too, and I loved it. But my DH doesn't like casseroles, or anything with sherry, or mushrooms, or especially green peppers, so that's pretty much out.
I've made delicious soup from the turkey bones, especially my friend Franny's recipe, which has yummy vegetables, lots of sage, wild rice, and little dumplings made from the leftover dressing.
But this year I decided to throw tradition to the winds. I saved enough for sandwiches and another dinner, and then I did, I really did--I threw the rest out!
Maybe next year I'll make curry.