Just like Thanksgiving dinner traditions, we have our usual recipes for the leftover turkey.
I always make turkey noodle soup out of the carcass (recipe below). The recipe is adapted from "Cooking by the Calendar: A Family Weekly Cookbook," one of my early cookbooks. I worked for Chuck Flynn, then Editor at the N-G, in the late 70s when they carried the Family Weekly Sunday magazine. Chuck received the cookbook from the Family Weekly representative. I suppose since Chuck was quite the cook and didn't need any more books, he gave it to me. Who remembers his column, "Mostly for Men"? (I have that book, too.)
Then, there are a couple of regular options that I make from the leftover turkey meat, however, I was almost thwarted in my effort due to a hungry young son staying with us for the weekend. This year I made a Turkey Tetrazzini from another of my early cookbooks; a Sunset paperback titled Favorite Recipes. The printed price on the cover is $2.45; a bargain at twice the price. We have many family favorites from this book, including meatloaf, oven roasted potato fries and chicken divan.
Turkey Tetrazzini is a nice change from the usual Thanksgiving flavor profiles. It is essentially a baked Alfredo dish with mushrooms. Sometimes I add peas. John harvested the last of our garden greens for a nice salad to go with it.
Thanksgiving is now put away and our Christmas tree is up and decorated. Time to begin my Christmas food experiments.
Turkey Noodle Soup (yield 5 quarts)
Turkey carcass (15 to 20# bird)
5 qts. water
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped celery leaves
1 cup chopped onion
7 chicken bouillon cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 1/2 cup sliced carrots
8 oz fine egg noodles
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
In a large soup kettle or Dutch oven, place carcass, water, celery, celery leaves, onion, bouillon, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Heat to boiling; lower heat, cover and simmer 1 hour. Remove carcass and allow to cool.
Add parsley and carrots to the soup. Heat to boiling then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove meat (there will be a lot more than you think) from the carcass and return meat to the soup. Discard the bones.
Return soup to a boil and add noodles. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small pan. Add flour and cook until flour is lightly browned. Add mixture to boiling soup. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve. Freezes well!
6 T butter, divided
5 T flour
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 cups half and half
1/2 dry white wine (or vermouth)
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
12 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
8 oz string pasta (spaghetti)
3 to 4 cups cooked turkey (or chicken)
Melt 2 T butter and mix in the flour, stir until cooked. Gradually blend in the broth, then add wine and cream. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture simmers and thickens. Add 1/2 of the cheese. Measure out 1 cup of the sauce and add remaining cheese to it.
Melt remaining 4 T of butter in a sauté pan and add mushrooms. Cook quickly (on high heat) until lightly browned.
Cook pasta in salted water until just tender to the bite (it will continue cooking in the oven).
Combine pasta, mushrooms, turkey and large portion of the sauce. Pour into 2 quart casserole. Pour reserved sauce over top.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.