What To Do With Your Leftover Turkey

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What To Do With Your Leftover Turkey
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What To Do With Your Leftover Turkey

For more details and to see our chefs' leftover turkey recipes, read on.

Image Credit: Lara Ferroni

Turkey Ramen
Edward Lee
610 Magnolia, Louisville, Kentucky

The idea behind chef Edward Lee's Turkey Ramen was to create a dish with completely different flavors than those of the original holiday feast. Also, Lee points out, "it's great hangover food and usually the day after Thanksgiving, you might be feeling a little wobbly." The recipe is a perfect example of Lee's signature blend of Southern and Asian flavors, and features an unexpected umami-building garnish of freshly grated Parmesan. If you want to try a slightly different twist, Lee suggests adding pork belly, steamed clams, or nori flakes.

Image Credit: Lara Ferroni

Turkey Croquettes
Seamus Mullen
Tertulia, New York

City Seamus Mullen's turkey croquettes are inspired by a more classic version he serves at his modern Spanish restaurant Tertulia. "Each one is about two bites, so they are perfect for snacking on in the beginning of a meal, or as a side," says Mullen. He also recommends pairing the croquettes with scrambled eggs for breakfast. To bump up the heat, Mullen says, "adding chile peppers would be a great idea, and give these croquettes a nice kick." Another option is to forgo the cranberry sauce or gravy, and dip the croquettes in Sriracha sauce.

Image Credit: Lara Ferroni

Turkey Samosas
Naomi Pomeroy
Beast and Expatriate, Portland, Oregon

"Sometimes when you're done with Thanksgiving, you are DONE with Thanksgiving flavors, too," says chef Naomi Pomeroy. Inspired by a dish on the menu at her new bar, Expatriate, Pomeroy uses leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, and peas (or chopped green beans) to make samosas, a popular Indian street snack. To get a jump start on the prep, make the samosa dough and roll it into rounds ahead of time. Layered between sheets of wax paper and wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap, the rounds can be refrigerated for 24 hours or frozen up to 3 months.

Image Credit: Lara Ferroni

Turkey Gumbo
Chris Shepherd
Underbelly, Houston, Texas

Having worked in the Gulf Coast region for more than 20 years, chef Chris Shepherd describes gumbo as an "important dish" for him and a personal favorite. He created this Thanksgiving leftover version because he thought it would be "a great way to stretch" whatever extra meat you have after the holiday feast. Even if you don't quite have the full 4 cups of extra turkey called for, there's enough andouille sausage in the recipe to compensate for a missing cup or two. This Cajun and Creole classic also gives the turkey a whole new flavor profile and, says Shepherd, is far more interesting than a traditional turkey sandwich.

Image Credit: Lara Ferroni

Turkey Enchiladas
Jason Vincent
Nightwood, Chicago Chef

Jason Vincent first made Turkey Enchiladas when he was on Thanksgiving break during culinary school. "No one went home. We had a lot of time on our hands, and a lot of beer," he explains. The enchiladas were so good that they became a holiday tradition. Unfortunately, they were also incredibly time-consuming, which is not ideal when you've just made Thanksgiving dinner. Eager to shed some of the hours and fuss, Vincent devised a clever shortcut. Before the turkey goes in the oven on Thanksgiving, he adds the enchilada sauce ingredients to the roasting pan. When the turkey comes out, the sauce is puréed and set aside until the next day when it's combined with leftover turkey, tortillas, and Mexican cheese, and then baked.

Image Credit: Lara Ferroni


By Lauren Salkeld

Skip the sandwich and turn your Thanksgiving extras into one of these original dishes from chefs Edward Lee, Seamus Mullen, Naomi Pomeroy, Chris Shepherd, and Jason Vincent

If Thanksgiving is the ultimate American holiday, reveling in Thanksgiving leftovers has to be one of America's ultimate holiday pastimes. In fact, many hosts buy a bigger bird and make extra sides just to ensure a wealth of extras to savor in the days after. While we love a classic leftover turkey sandwich, especially those towering creations stacked high with stuffing, potatoes, and cranberry sauce, sometimes it's good to stretch the palate a little and use your leftovers to create entirely new dishes.

For help putting a fresh spin on Turkey Day extras, we turned to five of the country's best chefs, Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia in Louisville, Kentucky; Seamus Mullen of Tertulia in New York City; Naomi Pomeroy of Beast in Portland, Oregon; Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston, Texas; and Jason Vincent of Nightwood in Chicago. With their extensive experience creating menus and managing their kitchens' inventory, we knew these culinary talents would know just what to do with leftover turkey. Each recipe is designed to use 2 to 4 cups of leftover turkey meat (light, dark, or a combination) and/or a 12- to 14-pound turkey carcass, but each one can also be adapted for either a roast chicken or a purchased rotisserie chicken.

Check out the slideshow above for five tasty ways to use leftover turkey.

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