Your plans for your leftover turkey are almost as important as your plans for Turkey Day. Read on for our best ideas for enjoying Thanksgiving just a little bit longer.
I love all the classic Thanksgiving food. When the third Thursday of November comes around, I pile my plate high with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese, salad, and, in my Puerto Rican family, rice and beans.
Then I pass out because that's a lot of carbs.
The day after Thanksgiving, we all circle up at my Mom's house again and line up by the microwave. This is Thanksgiving- light. We choose a few of our favorite leftover sides, make a Turkey sandwich, and get on with our day.
But it's on the Saturday after Thanksgiving that my turkey dreams really come true.
Saturday is for the Turkey Wreath. We discovered this recipe years ago when my mom hosted a Pampered Chef party. The crescent-rolls filled with turkey and cranberry filling, shaped in a wreath, is pretty, festive and shows off Pampered Chef products such as the round baking stone.
And the Turkey Wreath is hands down the best destination for your leftover turkey. It's as if the turkey meat finds new life. It lives again. Yes, even in its day-old state, your leftover turkey discovers a new calling, one that even appeals to those less enthusiastic Thanksgiving leftover fans.
I'm not going to say it, okay I'll say it. This leftover turkey recipe might be turkey at its best. Am I saying the Cranberry Turkey Wreath upstages Thanksgiving sliced turkey? No. Yes. Maybe? Just try it. And then cook it year-round (with chicken even) if you want to keep Holiday Turkey in its place.
A delicious twist on a Thanksgiving favorite!
refrigerated crescent rolls
honey dijon mustard
coarsely ground black pepper
cups (or 12 oz)
sweetened dried cranberries
cup ( or 4 oz)
shredded Swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Unroll crescent dough; separate into 16 triangles. With wide ends of triangles towards the center, arrange 8 triangles in a circle on a baking stone. Corners of wide ends will touch and points will extend 1 inch beyond the edge of the baking stone. Arrange remaining 8 triangles in the center, matching wide ends. Seal seams using the rolling pin. (Points will overlap in the center. Do not seal.)
Place mayonnaise, mustard, and black pepper in a mixing bowl. Chop turkey, slice celery, and snip parsley. Add turkey, celery, parsley, and cranberries to mixing bowl. Grate cheese into the mixing bowl. Mix filling and then scoop over seams of dough, forming a circle.
Coarsely chop walnuts, sprinkle over the filling.
Beginning in the center, lift one dough triangle across the filling mixture. Continue alternating with outer triangles, slightly overlapping to form a wreath. Tuck last end under first.
Separate egg over small mixing bowl using an egg separator. (Discard yolk or set aside for another use.) Lightly beat egg white; brush over the dough using a basting brush.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Leave it to the Pioneer Woman to design a leftover turkey sandwich that oozes with cheese and goodness. Also, points for serving a different, hot lunch, with your leftover bird. These delightful paninis are the perfect family-friendly post-holiday meal. Three cheers for a crowd-pleasing alternative to some of your weirder leftover options. (No child of mine has ever asked for Turkey soup.)
Mom on the Street Amy Raines's Turkey Pot with Biscuits is a flavor-packed, colorful finale to your Thanksgiving weekend. It's also Paleo and Gluten-Free, so you can continue to accommodate a family with preferences. (Also, let's be honest, it could be good to end the weekend on a lighter, but no less delicious, note.) Plus: bacon. I'm done.
I just finished Ruth Reich's memoir Save Me the Plums. She describes her experience on September 11, 2001, in Manhattan, where she was editor of Gourmet Magazine. Her staff, families, and chefs from across the city gathered in the Gourmet test kitchen to cook meals for the rescue workers at Ground Zero.
They made tray after tray lasagna and this Turkey Chili - a taste that brought tears to the eyes of an ash-covered firefighter. He told Reichl, "Thank you for this taste of home." She has served it as part of her Thanksgiving menu ever since, but this cozy concoction is perfect for the days following, and a reminder to live daily with gratitude.
Thanksgiving is one day, but the food tends to last longer. These recipes give you an excuse to keep gathering, and the perfect way to turn Turkey Day into Turkey season.