The turkey has been cooked and carved. The mashed potatoes are packed away, the pie decimated, the football games concluded. The relatives have either decamped for home or are napping, sedated by carbohydrates.
Now comes the best part: Leftovers!
Leftover roast turkey is a marvelous thing. This year, go beyond even the perfect turkey sandwich with these five simple recipes.
1. Jambalaya from Food52
Jambalaya is the ultimate one-pot rice meal, accommodating everything from spicy sausage to shrimp, crab meat and scallops. This version on Food52 incorporates “the trinity” (onion, green pepper and celery) with andouille and cooked turkey; you can substitute any beer, long-grain rice and Cajun seasoning you like.
2. Turkey and Ham Pie on The Splendid Table
This, according to “Plenty” author Diana Henry, is the perfect dish for the day after Thanksgiving when you have leftover turkey and ham. Seasoned with nutmeg and made using premade puff pastry, it’s as comforting as it is filling.
3. Cheesy turkey quesadillas with spinach and mushrooms from “Bay Area Bites”
With creamy Monterey Jack cheese pulling together cooked mushrooms, spinach and leftover turkey in small corn tortillas, these quesadillas from Kim Laidlaw are simple, delicious and weeknight-dinner-fast.
For David Tanis, author of “A Platter of Figs” and author of the New York Times’ City Kitchen column, leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving. “With broth made from the turkey carcass and a pile of meaty leg meat (use the white meat for sandwiches), all that is necessary is a handful of spices and some good basmati rice,” he writes.
If this doesn’t leave you thoroughly inspired, The New York Times’ Mark Bittman has a whole range of ideas for clearing out the turkey (and stuffing, and your fridge. The best-looking among them: Turkey Salad with Scallions and Spicy Mayonnaise, Pan-Fried Stuffing Cakes and Garlic-Rosemary Potato Fritters.
Enjoy your leftovers!
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