Category Archives: turkey leftovers

The day after…

As I type these words the pot of turkey broth that is pictured above is simmering on the stove permeating the entire house with delicious aroma. If your like me you enjoy leftovers as much as the Thanksgiving meal itself (well, ok, maybe not quite as much, but almost). Anyhow, here’s a few recipes which incorporate leftovers from a traditional Thanksgiving feast. These originally appeared in Artvoice about five years ago; to read that  entire article, click here.

Turkey Broth


1 cooked turkey carcass, and any scraps, juices, and pan scrapings

1 onion, quartered

1 carrot, cut into thirds

4 ribs celery, cut into thirds

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 bay leaves

10 whole black peppercorns

Combine the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed stockpot and cover with enough cold water to cover them by two inches. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Cook for a few hours, skimming the surface as necessary. Strain and refrigerate until needed.


Shepherd’s Pie Made from Thanksgiving Dinner Leftovers


Dice leftover turkey and vegetables, combine with enough gravy to moisten. Assemble the vegetable/turkey mixture in an oven-proof casserole and “cobble” it with mashed potatoes and stuffing. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until golden brown and hot throughout.

Turkey àla King


Combine diced, cooked turkey with enough gravy to moisten it; add whatever vegetables you like. Bring to a simmer and add heavy cream. Serve over mashed potatoes, stuffing, or if you’re feeling particularly decedent, puff pastry.


Turkey Salad with Sundried Tomatoes and Chipotle Chilies


Dice leftover cooked turkey, along with fresh celery, onion, and a couple sliced sundried tomatoes. Mix it in a bowl with a few tablespoons mayonnaise and a little Dijon mustard. Add a small amount of either chipotle powder or minced chipotle in adobo. Season it with lime juice, salt, and pepper. Serve over lettuce salad or as the filling for a sandwich.


Turkey Noodle Soup


Dice 1 small onion, 2 carrots, a few ribs celery, a clove of garlic, a cup or two of cooked turkey, and one small turnip. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a soup pot and add the vegetables and turkey; cook, while stirring, for a few minutes. Add enough broth to cover the ingredients by a couple inches. Season with salt and pepper; bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook egg noodles in a separate pot, then add to the soup.


Turkey and Vegetable Stirfry

Yield: 4 servings

3/4 cup broth

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 thin slices ginger

1 clove garlic, sliced thin

1 pound mixed vegetables

8 ounces cooked turkey


In a small bowl, combine the broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar and salt, then set aside. Heat the oil over high heat in a large skillet. Add the ginger and garlic, cook for a couple of minutes, then add the vegetables and turkey; stir fry for a few minutes. Stir the broth mixture and add it to the stir-fry. Cook for a couple of minutes, until the sauce is thickened and the vegetables are cooked.


Turkey Mulligatawny

Yield: 3 quarts.

3 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, diced

3 ribs celery, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 slices ginger, minced

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon Madras curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed hot pepper

1/2 cup flour

1 apple, diced

6 cups turkey stock

3 cups diced, cooked turkey

1/2 cup cooked white rice


Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot, add the onion, cel­ery, carrot, and red bell pepper, sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, sauté 2 minutes. Stir in the sugar, curry powder, cumin, black pepper, salt, and crushed hot pepper, sauté 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 5 minutes over low heat while stirring constantly. Add the diced apple, stir in the turkey stock and diced turkey, and simmer for 20 minutes. Just before serving stir in the rice. 

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#416 & #417), a Brief Story Behind it, and a Simple Recipe

#416 (first photo above)…a canvas bag containing a few books; a double plastic bag containing a cooked turkey carcass, and a few vegetables for mirepoix.

#417 (second photo above)…a cardboard box containing 18 pint contains full of still-warm turkey broth.

Okay, so here’s the deal. Nearly every year, after our Thanksgiving feast at one of my sister’s houses, I take the turkey carcass(es) and make turkey broth with it/them the next day. I usually have off of work and it’s a great day just to take it easy around the house and let the broth simmer. Then, after straining and packaging it, I freeze it and have homemade broth for weeks/months ahead. Well this year I had to work…but I still took the turkey carcass (I’m a professional cook, I can’t let something that good simply be discarded). Anyhow, I carried the carcass to work, made the broth there (one of the many privileges of working in a kitchen), packaged it, and carried it home. It now resides in my small freezer for future use.

The recipe for turkey broth (which is super easy to make and really delicious) is below. For additional recipes that highlight ways in which to utilize Thanksgiving leftovers, click here or here.

Turkey Broth

1 cooked turkey carcass, and any scraps, juices, and pan scrapings
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, cut into thirds
4 ribs celery, cut into thirds
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
10 whole black peppercorns
Combine the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed stockpot and cover with enough cold water to cover them by two inches. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Cook for a few hours, skimming the surface as necessary. Strain and refrigerate until needed. 

>Winter and Spicy Stew

>Well, Buffalo’s climate is once again living up to its reputation. We got pelted with something like a foot of snow today (judging by the news, so did much of the rest of the northeast). I was out driving in it today (yes, I do use a vehicle now and again) and at points it was near whiteout conditions…traffic would come to a halt because the farthest you could see was maybe ten feet in front of you.

Here’s a shot of my backyard, note the Chinese trike buried in snow…I won’t be riding that any time soon (to read more about the trike click here).

By this point you’d think I’d learn to use the firewood in the backyard before the snow really hit, leaving wood on the front porch for times like this. Anyhow, I had to retrieve firewood from the backyard and had to shovel not only a path to the wood, but also shovel out a small clearing so I could split a few logs.


I was craving something hearty and spicy for dinner, so I scoured my refrigerator and freezer. In addition to leftover frozen turkey and turkey stock I had plenty of vegetables to work with. I also had some kim chi, some not-quite-ready citron confit (preserved lemons), and a can of white beans.

I used a basic stewing/braising method; it’s simple and can be done with most foods. This is how I made mine: Start by dicing the vegetables (note my two pugs in the background waiting for scraps to fall).


I sauteed the harder vegetebales first in a little olive oil, then added garlic, a little curry, a couple chilies, cumin, allspice, cracked black pepper, and alittle sea salt.

Then I added the turkey stock, a couple preserved lemon wedges, a good scoop of kim chi, and the rest of the diced vegetables and potatoes. After simmering it for a few minutes I added the drained and rinsed white beans.

After simmering it for about twenty minutes longer, I ladled it into a bowl that I warmed over a flame (the rear of my house is cold this time of year). Not bad, I thought as I ate it…for being made out of leftovers and a few other ingredients I had on hand. It was perfect food for a cold winters evening such as this.

Winter and Spicy Stew

Well, Buffalo’s climate is once again living up to its reputation. We got pelted with something like a foot of snow today (judging by the news, so did much of the rest of the northeast). I was out driving in it today (yes, I do use a vehicle now and again) and at points it was near whiteout conditions…traffic would come to a halt because the farthest you could see was maybe ten feet in front of you.

Here’s a shot of my backyard, note the Chinese trike buried in snow…I won’t be riding that any time soon (to read more about the trike click here).

By this point you’d think I’d learn to use the firewood in the backyard before the snow really hit, leaving wood on the front porch for times like this. Anyhow, I had to retrieve firewood from the backyard and had to shovel not only a path to the wood, but also shovel out a small clearing so I could split a few logs.


I was craving something hearty and spicy for dinner, so I scoured my refrigerator and freezer. In addition to leftover frozen turkey and turkey stock I had plenty of vegetables to work with. I also had some kim chi, some not-quite-ready citron confit (preserved lemons), and a can of white beans.

I used a basic stewing/braising method; it’s simple and can be done with most foods. This is how I made mine: Start by dicing the vegetables (note my two pugs in the background waiting for scraps to fall).


I sauteed the harder vegetebales first in a little olive oil, then added garlic, a little curry, a couple chilies, cumin, allspice, cracked black pepper, and alittle sea salt.

Then I added the turkey stock, a couple preserved lemon wedges, a good scoop of kim chi, and the rest of the diced vegetables and potatoes. After simmering it for a few minutes I added the drained and rinsed white beans.

After simmering it for about twenty minutes longer, I ladled it into a bowl that I warmed over a flame (the rear of my house is cold this time of year). Not bad, I thought as I ate it…for being made out of leftovers and a few other ingredients I had on hand. It was perfect food for a cold winters evening such as this.

>Autumnal Food and My First Snowy Ride on the Mundo

>Bread For Thanksgiving Dinner

I am truly blessed in that I have three lovely sisters who give me the day off on Thanksgiving. The only things that I am required to do are bring freshly baked bread and carve the bird. I know that my younger sister likes roast red pepper bread, so I usually bring that. But this year I changed it a little by making two doughs and combining them: one was the red pepper, the other was Parmesan. The outcome is visually stunning; the flavors aren’t bad either. Here’s the recipe in pictures:

I started by making two separate straight doughs, utilizing the sponge method (basic bread dough recipe), the difference is that I added pureed roast red peppers to one (you’ll have to adjust the recipe because of the moisture content of the peppers) and Parmesan cheese to the other (click on any of the photos for a larger view).

After they had risen, I cut each dough into 5 pieces, ten pieces in all.

After gently flattening each piece, I placed a piece of Parmesan dough on top of each piece of red pepper dough and gently rolled it into a loaf.


Then I put them in loaf pans, and placed a clean garbage bag across them to rise.

After they rose, I brushed them with an egg wash, sprinkled them with poppy seeds and baked them in a preheated 400F oven.

The finished bread:


Turkey Stock and Mashed Potato Bread

Each year after thanksgiving I always offer to take the turkey carcass(es) of my sisters hands. Sometimes they won’t give them up because they have plans for them themselves, and other times–like this year–they are glad that I am interested in taking it/them. Anyhow, we had two turkeys this year and my apartment-sized refrigerator is not nearly big enough to hold them, so I left them wrapped in plastic in the back of my pickup parked on the street all night. The temperature was hovering around freezing, but I have to admit that I was surprised to see them in the morning.


Here they are unwrapped…sort of gruesome looking, sort of like returning to the scene of a crime…almost enough to make a person go vegetarian. But with the resulting broth all these nasty thoughts were forgotten.

Anyhow, homemade broth is as simple as this: put the carcass(es) in a pot with any meat trimmings, scraps, juices, a few vegetables, and just enough cold water to cover it. Bring it to a boil, then lower it to a simmer. Simmer the broth for 2-6 hours, skimming any scum as necessary.


While it simmered I whipped up a batch of potato bread using leftover mashed potatoes. I used a straight dough method with the exception that I added an egg to the dough for a little richness and lightness in its rise. The rear of my house is cold so I rose the bread next to the simmering stock pot.


After it rose once, I shaped it into a loaf, put it in a loaf pan and let it rise again. Then baked it in a 400F oven.

After the stock had simmered for about 6 hours I strained it twice, first through a colander, then through a small fine mesh strainer; a china cap, or as the French refer to it, a chinoise

Freezer ready:

Pear Butter with Red Wine

Last week I was able to take home a couple dozen locally grown pears. They were already past their prime when I received them, that’s how I was able to take them home, but I still thought I would eat them before they were too far gone. Well, of course I didn’t. Instead of throwing them out I decided to make pear butter, which of course is a variation of apple butter. It is so easy to make. Basically you just cut up the fruit (with or without skins), add a little liquid (I added red wine instead of water), and if you want it a little sweeter, you can add a little sugar (which I did). You cook the fruit and puree it (at this point it will resemble apple sauce). Then return it to the heat to evaporate most of its moisture. The flavors will intensify and its color will darken considerably. The consistency will become spreadable (especially when it is chilled); it will have the consistency of butter, hence its name.


First Snow/Ice Ride on the Mundo Yuba

We got a couple inches of snow today, which by Buffalo standards is next to nothing. But because it was above freezing during the day when it snowed (slushed) and went below freezing this evening, what was on the street turned to ice. The Mundo is built like a tank, and probably weighs as much as one also. %The thing just plowed through. I used to make the comparison of the Mundo to a Hummer or other big SUV, but now I’m wondering if it shouldn’t be more compared to a bike version of one of the old Volvo wagons…it plows through anything, weighs a ton, makes you feel safe, and has a big cushy feel to it’s ride. At one point I wanted to test the brake on ice, to see how it would handle. I hit the rear brake and the bike fishtailed to one side a little, but the thing is so big and heavy I still felt safe…it were as if I was happening in slow motion. Anyhow, it looks like it will be a good “Buffalo bike,” meaning it should be stable enough for all weather conditions. It may not be fast, but it gets you where you want to go and you can carry a lot of stuff with you.

Autumnal Food and My First Snowy Ride on the Mundo

Bread For Thanksgiving Dinner

I am truly blessed in that I have three lovely sisters who give me the day off on Thanksgiving. The only things that I am required to do are bring freshly baked bread and carve the bird. I know that my younger sister likes roast red pepper bread, so I usually bring that. But this year I changed it a little by making two doughs and combining them: one was the red pepper, the other was Parmesan. The outcome is visually stunning; the flavors aren’t bad either. Here’s the recipe in pictures:

I started by making two separate straight doughs, utilizing the sponge method (basic bread dough recipe), the difference is that I added pureed roast red peppers to one (you’ll have to adjust the recipe because of the moisture content of the peppers) and Parmesan cheese to the other (click on any of the photos for a larger view).

After they had risen, I cut each dough into 5 pieces, ten pieces in all.

After gently flattening each piece, I placed a piece of Parmesan dough on top of each piece of red pepper dough and gently rolled it into a loaf.


Then I put them in loaf pans, and placed a clean garbage bag across them to rise.

After they rose, I brushed them with an egg wash, sprinkled them with poppy seeds and baked them in a preheated 400F oven.

The finished bread:


Turkey Stock and Mashed Potato Bread

Each year after thanksgiving I always offer to take the turkey carcass(es) of my sisters hands. Sometimes they won’t give them up because they have plans for them themselves, and other times–like this year–they are glad that I am interested in taking it/them. Anyhow, we had two turkeys this year and my apartment-sized refrigerator is not nearly big enough to hold them, so I left them wrapped in plastic in the back of my pickup parked on the street all night. The temperature was hovering around freezing, but I have to admit that I was surprised to see them in the morning.


Here they are unwrapped…sort of gruesome looking, sort of like returning to the scene of a crime…almost enough to make a person go vegetarian. But with the resulting broth all these nasty thoughts were forgotten.

Anyhow, homemade broth is as simple as this: put the carcass(es) in a pot with any meat trimmings, scraps, juices, a few vegetables, and just enough cold water to cover it. Bring it to a boil, then lower it to a simmer. Simmer the broth for 2-6 hours, skimming any scum as necessary.


While it simmered I whipped up a batch of potato bread using leftover mashed potatoes. I used a straight dough method with the exception that I added an egg to the dough for a little richness and lightness in its rise. The rear of my house is cold so I rose the bread next to the simmering stock pot.


After it rose once, I shaped it into a loaf, put it in a loaf pan and let it rise again. Then baked it in a 400F oven.

After the stock had simmered for about 6 hours I strained it twice, first through a colander, then through a small fine mesh strainer; a china cap, or as the French refer to it, a chinoise

Freezer ready:

Pear Butter with Red Wine

Last week I was able to take home a couple dozen locally grown pears. They were already past their prime when I received them, that’s how I was able to take them home, but I still thought I would eat them before they were too far gone. Well, of course I didn’t. Instead of throwing them out I decided to make pear butter, which of course is a variation of apple butter. It is so easy to make. Basically you just cut up the fruit (with or without skins), add a little liquid (I added red wine instead of water), and if you want it a little sweeter, you can add a little sugar (which I did). You cook the fruit and puree it (at this point it will resemble apple sauce). Then return it to the heat to evaporate most of its moisture. The flavors will intensify and its color will darken considerably. The consistency will become spreadable (especially when it is chilled); it will have the consistency of butter, hence its name.


First Snow/Ice Ride on the Mundo Yuba

We got a couple inches of snow today, which by Buffalo standards is next to nothing. But because it was above freezing during the day when it snowed (slushed) and went below freezing this evening, what was on the street turned to ice. The Mundo is built like a tank, and probably weighs as much as one also. %The thing just plowed through. I used to make the comparison of the Mundo to a Hummer or other big SUV, but now I’m wondering if it shouldn’t be more compared to a bike version of one of the old Volvo wagons…it plows through anything, weighs a ton, makes you feel safe, and has a big cushy feel to it’s ride. At one point I wanted to test the brake on ice, to see how it would handle. I hit the rear brake and the bike fishtailed to one side a little, but the thing is so big and heavy I still felt safe…it were as if I was happening in slow motion. Anyhow, it looks like it will be a good “Buffalo bike,” meaning it should be stable enough for all weather conditions. It may not be fast, but it gets you where you want to go and you can carry a lot of stuff with you.