If the Feast is Back, So Are the Leftovers – NBC10 Philadelphia


We’ve all learned more than we bargained for about how to celebrate the holidays in uncertain times. Last year, many of us cooked smaller Thanksgiving dinners hosted by Zoom. This year, with the proper precautions, we might see more real-life gatherings, and plates full of – if not all – decorations.

Good news: Presumably, there will be plenty of leftovers to go around.

Bad news: Prices for turkey and other foods are higher than they’ve been in years. So we want to make smart use of every bite.

The turkeys will generally be bigger this year. In an interview with The Associated Press, Butterball President and CEO Jay Jandrain said turkey processing takes longer because of labor shortages at the company’s factories.

“Because we can’t process them quickly, they’re actually getting bigger,” says Jandrain.

Put those leftovers to work:


There are many ways to use up that leftover turkey meat. Think about soup, tetrazzini, cupcakes (recipe below) and of course, sandwich. Anywhere you use leftover or cooked chicken is fair game (slight pun) on leftover turkey. Change it to yours favorite noodle dish or salad. Chop it up and add a Italian toast instead of ground meat. Used up in quesadillas, enchiladas or fast. Add minced turkey to chili or make minced turkey.

And don’t forget to save the carcass and the bits and bob to make the turkey stock.


Of course you want to layer it into a turkey sandwich, but it’s also a great combination for roasted chicken next week. (Cranberry sauce usually keeps for several weeks in the refrigerator.)

Put some in a blender to make a post-Thanksgiving fruit smoothie. Puree it and mix it into a cocktail, like a Cranberry Orange Shrub. Serve it with meatballs, maybe sweet and sour.


The remaining gravy can be stirred into soups or stews for added flavor. Steam it over french fries or baked potato with some melted cheese for a temporary treat. Add it to sauces when making turkey cakes or post-holiday casseroles.

Note that leftover gravy can be frozen in an airtight container for up to three months. Rain it over cookies. Stir it into yours Chicken and dumplings. Pour some on the slices meatloaf.


Roasted vegetables like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, turnips, or brussels sprouts are a meal goldmine. Puree them and turn them into soup with the addition of some broth and perhaps a little cream, maybe some additional fresh herbs you have. If using less broth, you can puree vegetables instead of making soup.

Add such vegetables to pastas, soups and stews. Heat them but add sauce, like sour cream sauce or one olive vinegar oil. Cut them and put them in frittatas.

Two turkeys named Peanut Butter and Jelly have been selected to be pardoned by President Biden for tomorrow’s annual Turkish Thanksgiving.


Excess mashed potatoes begging to be put to use as a topping Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage Pie (shake things up using mashed sweet potatoes!). Use them as springboards for Moussaka. Make turkey bagel and mashed potatoes. Flatten the patties on a hot pan with a little butter and make mashed potato pancakes.

Try the same with the leftovers.

If you have a waffle maker, you can transform leftover mashed potatoes and stuff them into crispy savory patties. This or an in-house grill is also a great way to “bread” leftover bread. Or fill with portobello mushroom caps, sprinkle a little cheese on top, and bake until hot and cooked through.


Leftover bread, even if it becomes a bit stale, can be used to toasted bread,breadcrumbs, bruschetta, bread pudding or French toast. If you’re using it for sandwiches, consider toasting the slices to bring out their best flavor and texture. Make sure any seasoning in the bread is suitable for its new use.


More cans of pumpkin? Use a number to make pancakes, pumpkin bread or muffins, Pumpkin cheese cream macaroons or Pumpkin gingerbread.

A sample recipe for leftovers:


Server 6

1 sheet (17.3-ounce packet) of frozen puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge

¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

½ cup minced onion

½ cup chopped carrots

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups turkey or chicken broth

½ cup heavy cream, half-and-half or whole milk

3 cups shredded chicken or cooked turkey

½ cup corn (fresh, canned or frozen; no need to defrost)

1 cup peas (fresh, canned, or frozen; no need to defrost)

Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, and carrot and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally until mushrooms release liquid and that liquid evaporates. The vegetables should just start to turn yellow.

Add in the flour, salt and pepper and continue to stir until the vegetables are evenly coated with flour and turn light golden. Gradually add broth and cream, stirring frequently until mixture is thick and bubbly, about 5 minutes.

Add turkey, corn, and peas and stir to combine. Pour cake pot mixture into 9 inch cake pan.

Roll the puff pastry slightly on top. If you have a small cookie cutter, you can cut 4 to 6 shapes from the crust, then use a cream or milk brush to coat the shapes on the top of the crust for decoration (I used a cookie cutter). small leaf shape).

Place the puff pastry on top of the filling and trim off the corners if they are on the bottom of the pan. If you’re not cutting out the shapes from the crust, use a sharp knife to make multiple slits in the crust so the steam can escape.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown and everything is bubbly. Let the cake rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving, or you can use a large serving spoon instead. (The cake won’t be neatly cut; that’s part of the charm.)

https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/entertainment/holidays/thanksgiving-if-the-feast-is-back-so-are-the-leftovers/3052830/ If the Feast is Back, So Are the Leftovers – NBC10 Philadelphia

Aila Slisco

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