Christmas Leftover: Roast Turkey

If you’ve prepared roast turkey for Christmas, chances are you have some of it left that needs to be used up. So here are a couple of recipes and ideas for leftover roast turkey, plus a short guide on its proper storage to ensure none of your efforts goes to waste.

Storing leftover roast turkey

Proper storage of leftovers is important to avoid food contamination.
To start, remove any stuffing from inside the turkey and refrigerate it in a separate storage container. Next, separate the meat from the bone to prevent bacteria build-up. Save the bones to make stock. Place the meat chunks in well sealed containers or snaplock bags and store in the fridge within 2 hours of preparation.
Tightly covered and kept in the fridge, the turkey should be eaten within 3-4 days; in the freezer, it keeps for as long as 2 months. Stuffing, meanwhile, isn’t suitable for freezing and should be eaten within 2 days of preparation.

Ideas for leftover roast turkey

A turkey soup can be as simple as simmering turkey bones with onion, carrots, celery and various herbs to make a tasty broth and then adding chopped turkey meat. It can also be as inventive as a creamy Mexican soup with corn and cilantro or as hassle-free as a squash soup with the diced turkey added a few minutes before serving.
You can do more than tomatoes and lettuce with turkey, since it works wonderfully with a lot of other flavours. Try to vary the fillings and kinds of bread used, such as in these popular turkey sandwiches:
 Turkey, bacon and cream cheese sandwiched between slices of raisin-walnut bread
 Turkey breast, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard sandwiched on a French bread, pressed on a sandwich press or panini grill
 Turkey with cranberry chutney, pecans, brie and rocket sandwiched between slices of sourdough bread
 Also try: Turkey and guacamole quesadillas or turkey and black bean quesadillas
Tip: Use dark meat turkey as it is juicier and makes for a better sandwich than light turkey meat.
Casseroles and Pasta
When using up leftovers, you need not strict recipes. For a turkey casserole, simply layer the stuffing, turkey and leftover vegetables (e.g., mushrooms, green beans, peas and corn), top with mashed potatoes and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
You can also use the turkey as an addition to the delicious American dish tetrazinni, pot pie or enchilada. 
Other Options: Beans and Salads
Adding turkey to beans or chilli is convenient since you only have to add it at the end of cooking. Try barbecue beans and turkey, served with coleslaw and rolls, or spicy white bean chilli. If you have more time in your hands, dice the turkey and try an elaborate French classic cassoulet with cannellini beans.
Lastly, a healthy and versatile way to use up turkey is tossing it in a green salad. For a basic turkey salad, dice the turkey and add sliced grapes, a little lemon juice and coarsely chopped pecans – serve in a bed of lettuce. Turkey breast, meanwhile, is particularly good for a chef’s salad such as in Eating Well’s PowerSalad.
What do you do with leftover roast turkey?

One thought on “Christmas Leftover: Roast Turkey

  1. Thanks. When you check a whole roast turkey or chceikn, stick the theradmomeadter into the thickadest part of the thigh, close to the body of the bird. You know, sort of in between the thigh and the body of the bird. Next time I roast a bird I’ll post a picadture– for a roast beef, pork etc– always stick the theradmomeadter in the thickadest and cenadter part of the roast to get a true readading.It is always imporadtant to let whatadever you are roastading sit for a few minadutes before you slice into it, so that juices subadside and don’t just pour out when you slice into it. The meat will also conadtinue to cook when you bring it out of thea0oven.

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