Turkey Leftovers: So Many Options, So Many Choices

The big Turkey Day is coming and it's time to rev up those menus. I've been perusing food magazines and recipe files for weeks for new healthy spins on the traditional Thanksgiving dishes. But to be honest my fave part of this holiday is not the Thanksgiving meal at all; it's what I get to create with all the lovely leftovers. Since some of you will probably be shopping and making your menus in the next few days, consider a few extra ingredients for these "Luscious Leftover" dishes.

Last year, we turned our leftover turkey and veggies into Turkey-Lime Tortilla Soup. Don't throw that turkey carcass away. I know, I know, some of you are flinching because I just said the word carcass. Making turkey stock isn't as hard as you think. It's basically throwing all the bones from the turkey carving into a pot and adding a few spices. This is a great money-saving tip as well. If the turkey-lime flavors are not your style, you can use the turkey stock for any of your favorite soups.

This year I want to try out a Turkey Pot Pie and a White Bean Turkey Chili. Both of these are great opportunities to use leftover turkey and fresh vegetables with a healthy twist. I've been working up this pot pie recipe for a few weeks now. I love homemade crust. This whole wheat crust is great during winter when oranges are in season. If you want to save time, pick up some ready-made pie crusts from the freezer section at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. The key to this pie is using the vegetables and ingredients that are in season. For winter, broccoli, potatoes and carrots are a great choice. In summer, try corn or zuchinni. In spring, break out the fresh peas or asparagus.

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Pot Pie


Crust: (Best if made ahead; should be enough for two pie crusts or the top & bottom of an 8x8 Pyrex dish for pot pie)
-2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 cup + 1/2 tablespoon organic butter
-2 teaspoons grated orange peel
-1/4 cup cold orange juice
-1 tablespoon cold water

-1/3 cup organic butter
-1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-1/2 teaspoon paprika
-1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder (or chili powder or red pepper flakes, depending on how much spice you desire)
-1 teaspoon parsley
-1 3/4 cups organic cage-free chicken broth
-2/3 cup raw milk
-1/2 cup onions, chopped
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-2 cups turkey or chicken, shredded and cooked
-1 cup carrots (or diced potatoes or corn), chopped
-1 cup broccoli, chopped (or peas)
-1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded


1. Prepare pie crusts. If making the homemade crust, measure out flour and salt. Cut butter into dry mixture and use pastry blender or large fork to blend until forms pea-sized balls.
2. Add orange peel, water and orange juice and mix together until dough can be formed into two large discs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
3. Chop and prepare all vegetables.
4. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
5. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir in paprika, chipotle pepper and parsley. Cook until mixture bubbles (approximately 2-3 minutes).
6. Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling and stir continuously for one minute.
7. Stir in turkey, cheese and vegetables. Remove from heat.
8. Roll out pie crusts into shape of your pot pie dish. (I like to use an 8x8 pyrex but you can use a round, deep pie dish or double the recipe and use a 9x13 for a larger family or leftovers.)
9. Ease pastry into dish and line edges. Pour in filling.
10. Top with second pie crust and turn edges of pastry under or flute. (Hint: Even if your pie crust is crumbly or doesn't lay perfectly on top you can still use it. Just dump all the crust & crumbs on top of your pie.)
11. Bake about 35 minutes or until golden brown on top.


nates5bs said...

Okay, so what if I don't have oranges or orange juice around? Will the crust turn out okay without it?

The Gilmores said...

Well, OJ & orange zest is the secret ingredient in our crust. You could try lemon or lime if you have other citrus like that. Otherwise, there are many ways to do crust. You could substitute milk or water in for the OJ.

pb&j said...

Hey Dorina! Happy Thanksgiving. Your recipe came at a perfect time as we're having guests tonight for dinner (thanksgiving take 2).
I'm doing the 9x13 version. Do you think I need a bottom pastry layer, or could I add potatoes to the filling (leftovers!)?

The Gilmores said...

@PG&J: I've never tried it with potatoes for the crust. Let me know how it turned out! I love potatoes in Turkey Pot Pie...Buon Appetito!

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