The time honored turkey sandwich main reign over a lazy man's leftovers plans but repurposing all those extra fixins' into a new meal earns a cook even more brownie points. If you still have the stamina—or you can guilt someone into sharing the burden—give one of these recipes from New York chefs a whirl for ultra impressive post-Thanksgiving dining.
TURKEY SUSHI Chef Justin Warner of Bed-Stuy's innovative eatery Do Or Dine isn't going to let leftovers languish between two slices of bread. Instead, the "Rebel" chef created a hybrid leftovers-maki, which we can confirm is worlds away from traditional day-after fare.
- 1 half sheet of nori
- 5 ounces mashed potatoes, chilled
- 2 ounces turkey, shredded and chilled
- 1 ounce prepared cranberry sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 pinches all-purpose flour
Place the nori on a plastic wrap-covered placemat or sushi mat, uneven side up. Using gloves, work quickly to spread mashed potatoes over the nori, leaving 3/4 of an inch on the side furthest from you. Flip the nori over and arrange the turkey and cranberry sauce in a line down the middle. Gentle use the mat to roll everything up into sushi form.
Cut the roll into bite-sized pieces and refrigerate until ready to eat.
To make the dipping sauce: combine butter and soy sauce in a small sauce pan. Heat until the butter is melted then gently whisk in the flour; cook until slightly thickened.
While you might be thinking sake, we recommend pairing with a delicious Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay or equally fine white wine.
TURKEY A LA KING A classic recipe that's gone out of fashion somewhat, Turkey (traditionally Chicken) a la King envelops the fowl in a creamy sauce with vegetables, perfect for using up all the additional turkey meat. It can be served over rice or pasta or spooned over leftover rolls from the big meal. Chef John Avila at Morgan's Barbecue likes to use their fried turkey tails for extra decadence, but his recipe below would be delicious with any cut of the bird.
- 1/3 cup of unsalted butter
- 2 ounces chopped carrots
- 2 ounces chopped mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon diced onions
- 1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 to 2 ounces pimento (to taste)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/3 cups whole milk
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 3 cups leftover turkey
- salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion, bell peppers and carrots in the butter over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes or untiled softened. Add garlic in last 30 seconds of sautee until fragrant. Remove veggies from the pan but leave the melted butter and pan drippings.
Slowly add flour into butter and whisk until smooth then stir in mushroom soup and milk, stirring to combine. Add turkey along with cooked carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, onion, garlic and pimento.
Continue stirring until thickened and smooth; add salt and pepper to taste.
THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS ROTI Think of roti as the Indian version of a tortilla made with durum wheat flour. As in the style of his eponymous Brooklyn eatery, Chef Dale Talde put together a fun Asian-American play on the traditional bread, stuffing it with all fixings leftover after the holiday meal. You'll either make some roti, pick some up from your local Asian market or cheat a bit and substitute flour tortilla.
- 2 pieces of roti bread
- 1/4/ cup leftover turkey meat, cubed
- 2 tablespoons of stuffing
- 2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes
- 2 tablespoons of cranberry sauce
- 2 tablespoons of leftover gravy
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine all the fillings in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon 1/4 cup of the mixture into each piece of roti then fold into half moon, crimping the edges to keep everything inside. Cook each pocket for 8 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 8 minutes or until they're browned.
Tradition calls for a curry dipping sauce, but a dunk in some warmed up gravy would taste mighty fine as well.
STUFFING WAFFLES The intrepid chefs at the Food Network test kitchens found a great way to combine leftovers with everyone's favorite weekend activity: brunch. Stuffing waffles put a savory spin on the classic breakfast treat and repurposes the side dishes just enough to trick your brain into thinking it's a completely different meal.
- 4 1/2 cups crumbled leftover stuffing
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- vegetable oil
- leftover turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce for toppings
Preheat a waffle iron to medium-high. Combine the stuffing, parsley and eggs. Generously brush the top and bottom of the waffle iron with oil. Evenly and firmly pack each section of the waffle iron full with the stuffing mixture. Close and cook until golden and the waffles can easily be lifted out of the waffle iron, 4 to 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the gravy in a small saucepan. Once the waffles are ready, top each with as much turkey as you want and close the waffle iron. Cook until the turkey is warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes.
THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS "BENEDICT"Sugar and Plumm's executive chef Ben Dodaro also taps brunch as a palate for leftover artistry. Instead of the typical English muffin, use chilled rounds of stuffing—crisped on the griddle—as a base for runny poached eggs and drizzles of gravy.
Following your Thanksgiving dinner, press leftover stuffing into a pan about 2” thick and let it sit over night. The next morning cut the stuffing into squares or rounds using a cookie cutter or knife. Griddle the squares with butter on a stovetop over medium to low heat for about 3-5 minutes. Then warm up your leftover turkey and stack on top of stuffing. Top it off with poached, over-easy, or scrambled eggs and finish with leftover gravy or cranberry sauce, or both.