Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers

There's only so many turkey sandwiches you can eat. Transform your Thanksgiving leftovers into more exciting fare. Includes recipes for turkey soup, cranberry cobbler and more.

| October/November 1993

  • thanksgiving
    After the Thanksgiving dinner is over, you can create all sorts of tasty dishes with the leftovers.

  • thanksgiving

It's the morning after "the feast"; we're all suffering from food hangovers and we deserve it. Not one of us behaved ourselves—three pieces of pie apiece (now really). Someone quietly uttered something about working it off with a mile-long jog, but we knocked him out vengefully with a drumstick.

Besides, some of us have an overwhelming pile of gravy-stained napkins and tablecloths staring us in the face. Aunt Sophie did wash the good china before departing for home last night, but why didn't she bother returning it to the cabinet? Then there's the "What do we do with the buzzard-picked turkey carcass?" dilemma. We could have a domestic attack and make homemade turkey soup or we could have the kids haul it out to the dumpster after a fight over the wishbone.

Aren't we ecstatic that we shopped, cleaned, and cooked all week so we could have pounds and pounds of leftovers? ("Mom, why can't I have a peanut butter sandwich?" "Because we have this delicious turkey and we only have it once a year, and you will be thankful for it.") We must also rid ourselves of the 16 bags of frozen cranberries we bought in a frenzy after the local paper predicted a shortage. (What shortage?) What we all need are fast recipes to eliminate leftovers and get us out of the kitchen.

Let's get back to that turkey carcass for a second. So despised is that old carcass that if our family spends Thanksgiving Day elsewhere, I usually end up requesting the carcass to bring home. While the host or hostess is all too happy to see the old bird go, they more often than not think I'm crazy. But why trash the remains when so much flavor and nutrients await in those bones?

Making soup from the carcass is really quite simple if you go about it strategically. After the Thanksgiving meal, right about the time your husband (or any male present) finishes his pie and coffee, plop down the turkey platter in front of him. For whatever reason, most men enjoy carving meat. Just make sure you schedule your meal so it's completed long before the start of any major TV sports event. While Aunt Sophie does the dishes, you can be placing a picked-clean carcass in a soup pot. If you can't face that carcass one more minute, put it in a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator until after breakfast tomorrow. Otherwise, about two hours later you'll have a delicious stock that can be frozen for soup or prepared the next day. Then you can throw out the carcass.

Turkey Soup

Last Thanksgiving I wrote about cooking a turkey on the grill. A smoked turkey carcass makes a great soup.

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