Most people haven’t thought beyond turkey sandwiches on the day after let alone what’s gonna happen to the leftover leftovers. And by day 3 believe you me your family doesn’t want anything more to do with turkey either. Here’s a way to move beyond that bump in the road.
My one suggestion is to get rid of the turkey. No I don’t mean throw it away. I mean get it out of your family’s eye sight. Then you can re-introduce it at a later time…in a different form. First things first you have to…
Freeze your leftover turkey. Remove you turkey meat from the carcass. Portion them out into plastic freezer bags and date. Try to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.The USDA says that turkey can last in the freezer for up to 4-6 months. If you want to keep it moist when you thaw, freeze with gravy or some stock.
Now that you know how to freeze turkey you need to know what to do with it once you decide to thaw it. Actually this is one for the day after the big meal or the day before the big freeze. This one may get rid of quite a bit of your leftovers and still keep the family interested. Got turkey? Mashed potatoes? Gravy? Vegetables? Then you’ve got the makings of Turkey Shepherd’s Pie.
2 cups cubed leftover turkey meat
1 1/2 cups gravy
2 cups of leftover vegetables (broccoli, peas, carrots string beans whatever you like or rather whatever you have on hand)
3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Heat oven to 400°. Lightly grease a 9″x 9″ pan. Heat gravy and turkey together in a sauce pan. Transfer heated mixture to 9″x 9″pan. Top meat with vegetables and then top vegetables with mashed potatoes (Have potatoes at room temperature or warm some. It makes the next step easier to do). Spreading potatoes out to within a 1/2″ of edge of pan. Sprinkle shredded cheese across top of potatoes. Place pan on top of sheet pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes.
Ok so suppose you still have turkey to freeze after this dish. Consider yourself lucky and proceed to freezing it. What do you do with the turkey when it comes time to thaw. It’s really up to you. Take your favorite recipe and substitute the meat it calls for with your thawed turkey meat. Like Chili or maybe a Brunswick Stew. Or try adding it to a dish that doesn’t traditionally have meat in it like maybe your favorite Mac & Cheese recipe. Use your imagination. .you never know you create a favorite for your family.
I hope this series has helped with the madness of holiday meals. Let me know how this series may or may not have helped you. Leave a comment.
Happy Holidays from Cassandra as The Chef In Pearls and owner of Gems and Baubles. Now go make some memories!