Thanksgiving is upon us. The one holiday were everyone, no matter what religion or culture, in America, celebrates. And we pretty much go BIG for this one. Prepping begins today, and in some cases yesterday, and real cooking in earnest tomorrow morning. Without a doubt you will have leftovers, and unless you pack it up and distribute to your guests, you are faced with a ‘fridge full of deliciousness on Friday. This week I really don’t have a straight recipe per se, only a couple of solid ideas for you to use for your Thanksgiving leftovers.
Let’s talk stock first: After your turkey has been carved resist the urge to toss the bones. Place them in a large plastic bag and save them! There is still a lot to be had, believe it or not. Break them up a little and place in a big pot of water. Don’t go too crazy, just cover with enough water to have them float slightly. Add an onion, a couple of carrots, celery stalks, garlic and a big piece of fresh thyme. Bring the pot to a boil and let it simmer for an hour or so.
Then cool it down a little and strain.
For the ingredients you can use whatever you have: root vegetables are perfect in this application. I tend to use the dark meat, generally because it will hold up and not dry out. White meat is best in the ubiquitous turkey sandwich.
If you have a little rice left over you can use that too.
You really want a 1:2 ratio. One cup of stock to 2 cups of assorted leftovers. That is my preference, but more or less is perfectly acceptable. If you want to make this dish a little more “stew-like” you can start with a roux: 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of flour and 1 1/2 cups of stock.
Last year I made a fun Thanksgiving Pot Pie using everything including the cranberry sauce.
The year before I went the spicy route and made the pot pies Tex-Mex. The sky is the limit with leftovers. Include and many as you can. No doubt you spent a great deal of time cooking up to the holiday, so let yourself continue to enjoy the fruits of your labor through the weekend.
Let me also take a moment to say that I am thankful to have my husband, step-daughter, family, friends and of course the readers of Small Bites. I wish you all a very happy and delicious holiday from my kitchen to yours.