Thursday, December 6, 2012

Turkey, Turkey, Turkey

Thanksgiving turkey 1 of 2
So, you are all probably sick to death of Turkey by now.  So sick of it, in fact, that you can't stand the thought of making one at Christmas so you're thinking about buying a ham instead of cooking the 23-pounder in your freezer.  Well, I feel your pain, I am one of those crazies who actually cooked two turkeys this year and didn't even host Thanksgiving.

Turkey is one of the most wonderful parts of Thanksgiving, but the left-overs can linger on for what seems like an eternity.  So, today I thought I would share with you my ideas for turkey left-overs.  It can be far more interesting than eating Thanksgiving dinner five times over.  The ways you can repurpose turkey meat are endless.

Left overs option #1:

Turkey Stew:
This is an easy way to take a lot of the drier portions of the bird and and make them moist again.  And my favorite way to eat turkey stew is to pour a ladle of it over mashed potatoes.  The part of this dish is that you don't have to make it in any one way, you can make it however you'd like.  Just follow a basic stew recipe and add whatever you would like into it. (If you need some help figuring out what to put in your stew, here is a great recipe from Taste of Home, Just substitute turkey for the chicken--Simple Chicken Stew). My personal recipe is very simple, it's just turkey, broth, carrots, and onions, then some cornstarch or arrowroot to thicken it up.  I don't care for celery much and I don't like a lot of starches in my stew because I like to have the option of rice or potatoes later.  This is an economical and tasty way to get rid of some turkey and possibly some other Thanksgiving left overs.

Turkey stew may not have been enough of a flavor change for you.
So here's option #2:

Turkey Soya:
This is a terrific family recipe that has been handed down.  I love this dish it's quite possibly one of the easiest and cheapest ways to feed a lot of people. There are different versions of it I'm sure, but the way I made it this year was basic because I lacked some of the other ingredients and it worked out great.

(Kristen's Version) Turkey Soya:

1 Cup Soy Sauce
3 Cups of Water
1 Bay Leaf
3 Tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar
1 Tsp. Salt
2 Cloves Crushed Garlic
2 Tsp. Black Pepper
3 15-oz Cans of Black Beans (drained)
or 1 1-lb bag of black beans soaked overnight (drained)
2-3 cups shredded left over turkey

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on Low for 6-8 hours or on High for 4 hours.

Finally my favorite thing to do with turkey left overs...

option #3 anything Mexican:

I love to repurpose turkey meat for mexican food.

I recently made turkey tacos, turkey quesadillas, and my personal favorite turkey enchiladas.

All of these things are simple to make and you can find recipes for any of these dishes online.  And, don't forget you don't have to even look for turkey versions just substitute turkey for the meat in the recipe.  But, for the enchiladas I made I took the meat and repurposed it by turning it into Turkey Carnitas.  I know that seems like it's not possible but, it is and it's EASY!

Turkey Carnitas:

2-3 lbs. Shredded Turkey meat
3 Tbsp. Bacon Grease or Lard
1/4 cup WarmWater
1 Tbsp. Salt
3 Cloves Garlic

Pre-heat oven to 250*

Dissolve salt in the water. Set aside.

Heat up a large skillet (preferably Cast Iron, but any oven safe skillet will do) on stove on Medium heat.  Add bacon grease and heat until liquid in texture.  Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.  Add turkey. Evenly coat the turkey with the grease and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, allow turkey to start to crisp or brown just slightly.  Remove from heat. Add salt water to hot skillet and stir turkey to evenly distribute the steam.  Put in oven for 3-5 minutes until water is fully absorbed or steamed off and turkey is moist.

Well, there you have it three different ways to eat your thanksgiving left overs without losing your mind.   What are some of your favorite things to do with turkey leftovers?

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