Sunday , 22 April 2018

Kyra’s Kitchen: Turkey, the Holiday Meal That Never Ends

Question: What’s the Definition of Eternity? 

Answer: Two People and a Turkey!

So Christmas is looming with ANOTHER turkey on the menu.  And no matter how valiant the efforts on the part of your guests, there is a lot of the bird leftover and you are ‘SICK OF IT’!

But… Do NOT throw him out, as your turkey will provide the basis for excellent dishes, some of which you can freeze, well into January when you are totally exhausted from all this entertaining.

Here is the plan of action:
First, remove and reserve any remaining white or dark meat suitable for making sandwiches, salad and casseroles. Then, use the bones and skin and carcass to prepare TURKEY stock, which can be substituted for the chicken stock in any soup.  [You can bag and freeze the bones etc. and make the soup later on.]

You can rustle up TORTILLA SANDWICHES to enjoy now and TURKEY HASH and TURKEY CHILI to freeze for later use when the sight of turkey no longer makes you lose your appetite.

Bones, skin, ‘bits’ and carcass of the turkey
1 large onion – halved, skin on
2 large carrots, peeled
2 sticks celery
1 turnip, halved [optional] 1 chicken stock cube

Place all the ingredients in a large stockpot or saucepan.  Add cold water to cover and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer the stock GENTLY uncovered for three hours or until the liquid has reduced by a quarter.
Cool, strain, discard the vegetables, and reserve the stock for sauces, casseroles and soups.  It freezes well.

6 flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups turkey meat, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
1/2 cup [leftover] cranberry sauce [you can substitute salsa]     
Preheat a flat-bottomed ungreased skillet–on medium heat
Spread 1 tortilla with 1/2 cup grated cheese, top with 1/2 cup turkey and sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of the cranberry sauce [or salsa] evenly over the turkey.  Press a second tortilla on top.
Set the tortilla sandwich in the skillet, pressing the ‘sandwich’ down gently.
Brown the bottom tortilla, then flip the sandwich over and brown the other side.  The cheese will melt to form the ‘glue’ that keeps the sandwich together.
Remove from skillet and cut into 6-8 wedges.
Repeat with the other tortillas to make 18 or 24 wedges depending on how you cut them.
Serve warm.

Here are two freezable recipes using turkey stock.

1 onion peeled, diced
1 red bell pepper – seeded, diced
2 tablespoons butter or oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups turkey stock [or canned chicken stock] 2 tablespoons dry sherry [optional] 2 cups chopped turkey meat
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Dash of hot pepper sauce
1/4 – 1/2 cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the onion and bell pepper in the butter or oil until soft.  Sprinkle on the flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Cook one minute, stirring the mixture. Add the stock and sherry if using – bring back to the boil and simmer the sauce for five minutes.
Add the turkey, seasonings and cream and cook another minute.

TASTE the hash!  Add more seasoning to taste and more stock or cream if the sauce is too thick.
Cool – package in small containers and freeze.
To serve: defrost in the refrigerator overnight – reheat and serve with rice, over pasta or on toast.

2 tablespoons oil
1 small onion, peeled, diced
2 bell peppers – any color – diced
3 cloves garlic crushed or 1 teaspoon garlic from the jar
2 cups diced turkey
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 15 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 15 ox can corn – drained
1 15 oz can beans – drained [red, black, white – your choice] 1/2 cup turkey stock [or canned chicken]

Brown the onion, peppers and garlic in the oil
Then throw in the rest of the ingredients – bring back to the boil and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
Taste!   Add salt, pepper, and cilantro according to your taste buds.
Cool then Freeze. 

To serve: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator – reheat gently and serve topped with avocado – sour cream or yogurt – grated cheese and tortilla chip.

About the Author
McKinney resident Kyra Effren is a contributing writer for’s “Food” section.  She is a retired food stylist and contributing writer for the “Food” section of Dallas Morning News. In 1975, Effren opened Cours de Cuisine Cooking School in Dallas and in 1978, she was awarded The Commanderie des Cordon Bleu in France for her contributions to French cooking.   She has edited multiple cookbooks and served as recipe tester for a number of cookbooks including both of the Mansion on Turtle Creek cookbooks by Dean Fearing and baking books by Nick Malgieri.

Kyra welcomes any and all reader comments and suggestions.  What would you like to have for dinner?

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