Ideas for turkey leftovers

I’m still not quite sure what possessed my husband to think we’d need a 17lb turkey for just the two of us but let’s just say we’re not short of leftovers right now. After delicious Thanksgiving sandwiches yesterday, I figured I’d try my hand at a Thanksgiving pie to try to make a dent in the baggies and baggies of food hanging out in the fridge.

Earlier this year I wrote about picnic pies and how they could easily be adapted for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I was feeling too lazy to make cute little individual pies so went for one big pie. I used a regular pie crust for the bottom and wanted puff-pastry on the top.  As this is a dish specifically designed to use up leftovers there isn’t an exact recipe per se, but here’s what I did:

Ready-rolled pie crust placed in a greased pie dish, pricked to prevent it rising and baked in a 400 degree oven for 12 minutes.

We had turkey and stuffing galore but thought I’d caramelize a finely sliced onion for a little more flavor.

Dice up the leftover turkey (or leave it in slices or shred it, whatever your preference). There’s nothing worse than a pie with a dry filling so why not use up any leftover gravy?. If you don’t have any leftover gravy you could maybe use a little chicken stock. You want to add just enough to make it moist, not sloppy.

If your stuffing is coming straight from the fridge it can be hard to spread in a thin layer without causing damage to your fragile pastry. I dumped out the stuffing onto a layer of saran wrap, added another layer of saran wrap and squished in into a round shape before tipping it into my pie dish. Try not to squish it too much or it will get too dense. I added a couple of spoons of leftover Cranberry sauce spread out thinly over the stuffing before adding the turkey. 

Add the caramelized onions on top of the turkey (or you could fry up your leftover Brussel Sprouts until crispy, use a little leftover bacon, some sausage meat – your pie, your choice!)

Trim the corners off the puff-pastry sheet to make a round pie shape (save them to make leaves if you’re feeling crafty) and pop on top of the pie. Use your fingers or the tines of a fork to crimp the edges together. Brush with a little egg wash and add your pastry leaves if using. I realized I’d usually add a little vent hole where my leaves where so I made a few alternate holes!

Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake in a 375 oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes so the top can brown. Let cool for 5 minutes to firm up and then slice and serve. A crisp salad, a few pickles, a little chutney would all work fabulously. I like to photograph food in natural window light but there was no way we were waiting until the next morning to cut into this baby 😉

We’re left with just the turkey carcass now, I plan on slowly simmering the bones with a carrot, celery stick and onion overnight for some kind of Asian-inspired soup tomorrow…

1 thought on “Ideas for turkey leftovers

  1. Pingback: Turkey – using up the bones. Tips for making stock. | Mainely Eating

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