Friday, 26 December 2008

Turkey leftovers

There is a large half-eaten turkey sitting in the shower. Why? Because it won't fit in the fridge, the kitchen is too warm and anywhere else my daughter's visiting cat would get at it. (It has already half-demolished our landlord's pot plant - the cat, not the turkey, obviously) The health police would of course be appalled but we didn't finish eating till 10 o'clock last night so there was nothing else to be done.

Today will be devoted to ensuring it doesn't go to waste or that we don't get driven mad by endless turkey meals. My usual strategy is to have it cold for lunch on Boxing day (By far the best meal of Christmas IMO) then to prepare little parcels of white and brown meat for other uses and make stock with the carcass.

My youngest son particularly likes the brown meat fried up till crispy with the leftover turkey gravy so that takes care of some of that. I usually make a rich turkey and mushroom lasagne or a korma like the chicken one I cooked on You and Yours the other day but if I can find some tarragon I may try and make the splendid jellied terrine in the book which comes from a food writer friend of mine, Andrea Leeman.

The stock makes terrific soup but is so rich it tends to overwhelm more delicate vegetables. I like it for a chestnut soup (I do have a few leftover chestnuts, happily) or a dark mushroom soup or risotto. It's good with lentils too.

Incidentally I managed - yet again - to buy a larger turkey than we needed, largely because the butcher had run out of smaller birds by the time I got round to ordering one. (Memo to self, order earlier next year). We usually stretch the turkey anyway by serving plenty of sausages as well as the stuffing so there really is no need for an outsize bird.

I did however manage NOT to buy a Christmas cake (my daughter made a chocolate one which has already been scoffed) or any dates, figs, nuts or excessive quantities of cheese or twice as many sprouts as we needed so the cost of Christmas is well down. And you know what? We didn't miss any of them.

How did your Christmas go? Any bright ideas for the leftovers?


Jean said...

Sorry, I don't have any suggestions for the leftovers because I don't have any - and haven't bought a turkey for several years. I go to my Dad's for Christmas dinner, and this year it was my brother's turn to cook - and he's a chef! - so everything was pretty much demolished between the 10 of us.

I do still have some venison sausages left over, which I bought about 10 days ago - do you think they will still be ok to cook? I'm not very good at guessing if there's no use by date on!

Fiona Beckett said...

Wouldn't have thought so, regretfully, NSM. Butchers sausages usually only last 2-3 days.

Anonymous said...

Leaving the turkey in the shower surely is the basis of a great Christmas comedy :-) Think your suggestions sound yummy, though there is the perennial problem of "turkey fatigue"...curry is definitely the way to go!

Career Misfit said...

I can sympathise with the 'more turkey than we intended' scenario: I'm still coming out the other end of a cold + chest infection nightmare, the first phase of which meant that I missed the question of what size got sent to the butcher on our order. We've just finished hosting for our first guests of Christmas with a 15lb giant of a bird that looks like it's barely suffered a scratch.

I was thinking of serving up this Jamie Oliver recipe for some more of my family we're seeing tomorrow, but I'm a few ingredients short and won't be making special purchases. I'll probably just take a load of turkey, rolls, and my girlfriend's cranberry jelly with port she brilliantly whipped up today, then let people grab what they fancy. Looking forward to it.

Fiona Beckett said...

Sorry to hear you've had the dreaded lurgy, career misfit. (Any other man would call it flu so that's very stoic of you ;-)

I was tempted by that Jamie Oliver recipe too but, as you point out it has a lot of ingredients which rather offset the economy of using turkey leftovers. Still, one could adapt it.

Turkey rolls with cranberry jelly and port (yummy) will probably go down equally well, if not better.