By now, you have an abundance of leftovers. Or do you? If anyone is like me, I am thrilled with throwing together a quick turkey, stuffing and cheese sandwich and call it good. But one can only have that so many times. I would like to give you folks another alternative. My two favorite dishes in the world when it comes to turkey and cold weather are Turkey Chili and Turkey Tetrazinni. They are worlds apart but both benefit immensely from the seasoned, leftover turkey you have mingled with the bones in your fridge. For you pork lovers, who may have a slab or two leftover roasted pork covered in three layers of plastic wrap, you can also benefit from these two dishes. Simply substitute the pork for the turkey.
Thick and Hearty Turkey Chili
Here is a great recipe for anyone who is sick of cooking. After all, we need a break between Holidays.
3 c. dried white beans (navy or northern for us Yankees) Turkey stock or broth
1 large onion, diced
3 c. cooked turkey, coarsely chopped
Two 6-oz. cans chopped green chiles
2 T. minced garlic in oil
1 1/2 T. ground cumin
2 t. ground chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
Sort and rinse beans to remove dirt and shriveled, broken or otherwise suspect beans and things that are not beans. In a Crock Pot/slow cooker,combine beans and enough stock to cover beans by 2 inches. Heat on high for 4-5 hours or until beans are tender to bite. Remove 2 cups of cooked beans and puree in a blender. Add back to slow cooker and stir. Puree more beans to thicken to your desired consistency, and add more liquid to thin.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Leave on low heat for 1-2 hours or until heated through and flavors are melded.
This would be even more hearty, colorful, enticing, flavorful (and on and on) if you added some of your leftover vegetables as well.
1 (16 oz.) package uncooked spaghetti or macaroni
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 t. minced garlic in oil
1/2 c. minced onion
1/2 c. flour
3 c. chicken broth
2 c. milk
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
4 c. chopped cooked turkey
2 c. shredded Mozzarella or Fontina cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a medium baking or casserole dish. Cook pasta according to package instructions, only till al dente though, which is slightly firm. Drain very well, and return to the pot. In large saucepan, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion until soft. Add in garlic and saute until garlic is fragrant. Stir in flour and whisk until as smooth as possible. Slowly whisk in chicken broth and milk, whisking until quite smooth. Cook and stir until the mixture comes to scalding. Stir in Parmesan cheese, and remove from heat. Mix in the turkey. Pour sauce over pasta that are in the pot and stir to combine. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until surface is lightly browned.
Chef Jim Baley - The Yankee Chef - is a noted food columnist, cookbook author and the foremost New England Food Historian. He is a third generation chef and historian and lives in Maine with his wife and four children. He welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.