Turkey Day Leftovers Revamped

Transform your leftovers into these five luscious post-Turkey Day dishes.


Published:

Photo courtesy of Chad Chisolm

Leftover turkey and trimmings can be a snooze—and not just because of all the tryptophan you’ll be ingesting. This year, forget the microwaved stuffing and dry-turkey sandwiches: Wine Enthusiast tapped top chefs across the country for tips on how to turn typical Thanksgiving leftovers into tasty dishes with wine pairings to match. So, whether you decide to make the fancy foie gras and stuffing terrine or roll up Mexican-inspired, mole-slathered turkey tacos, get ready to gobble up.


Leftovers: Roasted butternut squash

Recipe Remix: Butternut squash and date ravioli

Recipe courtesy Elise Wiggins, executive chef, Panzano, Denver 

These delectable homemade squash- and date-ravioli have a hint of sweetness that make them a prime candidate for a crisp wine pairing.

For the ravioli filling:

½ cup mascarpone cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese           
2 dates, pits removed, diced small
2 cups leftover roasted butternut squash, diced small
Pinch of Maldon salt
Fresh sheet pasta (from Whole Foods or other gourmet store)
8 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons rosemary, chopped finely
¼ cup shaved Parmesan
12 small sprigs Italian parsley

Combine the cheeses and dates in a bowl and mix using a paddle until gently incorporated. Gently fold in the squash and add pinch of salt.

Dust a countertop lightly with flour and place a pasta sheet on top. Add 1 tablespoon of the filling at a time to the sheet to form a small mound. Place another sheet on top of the filling, then seal and cut the pasta sheet into individual ravioli using a ravioli cutter, or a glass to create pasta circles. Moisten the ravioli with water to seal, then pinch closed.

In a pot with boiling water, cook the ravioli for approximately 3 minutes. In the meantime, in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter, then add the rosemary and cook gently until the butter just starts to brown. Add the cooked and toss ravioli gently just until they are coated.

To plate, place the ravioli in a bowl and garnish with shaved Parmesan and parsley. Yields 2 dozen ravioli and serves 4.

Chef Pairing: A white wine, like Caldaro’s 2011 Pinot Grigio from Alto Adige, nicely complements the touch of sweetness in this dish.


Leftovers: Cooked, pulled turkey

Recipe Remix: Turkey mole tacos with cabbage slaw

Recipe courtesy Nicole Pederson, chef, Found Kitchen and Social House, Evanston, Illinois

These toothsome mole-slathered tacos replace that dry, next-day turkey sandwich. The key is to salt the cabbage before making the slaw in order to ensure a satisfying crunch.

1 pound tomatillos, peeled and washed
1 large white onion, peeled and halved 
2 whole jalapeños
1 cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sesame seeds
1 teaspoon allspice, ground
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
2 dried mulato chilies, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes or until tender
4 dried guajillo chilies, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes or until tender
1 tablespoon honey
Pinch of salt
8 cups of cooked, pulled turkey
8 3-inch corn tortillas
1 tablespoon salt, plus additional to taste
2 cups cabbage, red, napa, or green or a combination, sliced thin
2 cups chow chow (a pickled Southwestern-style relish available at Whole Foods or other gourmet stores)          
½ cup cilantro, chopped 
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon salt, plus additional to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste

On a grill or in the broiler set to medium-high heat, roast the tomatillos, onion and jalapeños until they’re well charred, approximately 3–5 minutes on each side. In a medium skillet over high heat, toast the seeds and spices until they’re fragrant. Combine the vegetables with the spices, chilies, honey and salt, and purée them in a blender to the make the mole sauce.  

Heat a large rondeau (or wide, heavy-bottomed pot) over high heat until it’s very hot, then add the mole sauce all at once (it will bubble and boil rapidly). Let it boil for 3–5 minutes, then remove it from the heat. Incorporate the pulled turkey until it’s well coated.

Next, fill a large bowl with water and add the salt and cabbage. Let the cabbage sit for 30 minutes, then strain it in a colander and squeeze out any extra water. Combine the cabbage, chow chow, cilantro, lime, zest and juice, and season with salt, to taste. Add a dash of the cayenne pepper if desired.

Pile chunks of the mole-coated turkey on corn tortillas and top with cabbage slaw. Serves 8.

Chef Pairing: The 2011 Dry Riesling from Good Harbor Vineyards intensifies the flavors of the mole sauce and refreshes the palate. 


Leftovers: Turkey meat, green beans, stuffing and cranberry sauce

Recipe Remix: Seared foie gras and stuffing terrine with cranberry-pomegranate reduction

Recipe courtesy Ruben Garcia, executive chef, The Ritz-Carlton, Denver

This sumptuous recipe, inspired by Chef Ruben Garcia’s days in culinary school, elevates the traditional Turkey Day flavors by adding a touch of fatty duck liver.

2 cups cranberry sauce          
1 cup orange juice
½ cup pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons canola oil, plus extra for brushing
6 cups stuffing (at room temperature)           
2 cups blanched green beans
5 ounces cooked, pulled turkey meat
1 tablespoon craisins
6 ounces foie gras, cleaned and sliced into 4 1½-ounce pieces
1 cup hot chicken stock, plus additional if necessary
Fleur de sel, to taste
1 ounce pomegranate seeds 
3 mandarin orange slices
½ cup mache lettuce    

In a skillet over high heat, add the cranberry sauce, orange and pomegranate juices, and reduce the mixture, approximately 8 minutes, or until the mixture resembles a glaze. Remove the mixture from the heat, strain it and set it aside.

Preheat an oven to 300˚F.

Brush the inside of a terrine mold with oil. Line the inside of the mold with plastic wrap, carefully lining and adhering the wrap to the walls, leaving about 1 inch of extra wrap hanging over all the edges of the mold to cover the terrine with later.

Line the bottom of the mold with stuffing, pressing it down, until it’s about ½ inch high. Carefully line the stuffing with green beans, lengthwise. Cover the beans with another layer of stuffing about ½-inch high, and top with pulled turkey meat. Add the craisins in a line down the center of the mold. Fill in mold with more stuffing and press firmly and evenly to seal all layers.

Cover with hot chicken stock (about 1 cup, depending on the dryness of the stuffing) to help bind the terrine in the oven. Seal the terrine with the remaining plastic wrap and press firmly.

Next, place the terrine in a large pan that allows for about an inch on all sides. Pour water into the pan until it reaches the top of the terrine mold. Place it in the oven and cook it for about 25 minutes. Once it’s cooled, cut out a piece of cardboard from a box to the size of the mold and place it on top of the terrine. Press down with the cardboard and place a can or brick on top to add pressure. Keep refrigerated overnight. 

The next day, carefully remove the terrine by placing the mold upside down and gently pulling away the plastic wrap. It should stand firm. Cut it into ¾-inch slices and set aside.

Preheat a nonstick pan. Add canola oil and sear the slices of terrine on both sides, then set aside. Preheat another pan until it’s almost smoking and quickly sear the foie gras on both sides. Season with fleur de sel

On a plate, carefully set down one piece of the terrine and cover with a slice of foie gras, then layer another piece of terrine and finish with the last piece of foie gras. Drizzle cranberry- pomegranate reduction, then garnish with pomegranate seeds, oranges and mache lettuce. Serves 4.

Chef Pairing: Hartford Court’s 2009 Land’s Edge Vineyard Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast shows well-balanced acidity that will cut through the flavors of the foie gras.


Leftovers: Sweet potatoes, turkey and cranberry sauce

Recipe remix: Creamy sweet potato soup

Recipe courtesy Randal Gresham, sous chef, The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga, Wyoming

Short on time? In less than an hour, you can pull together this rich, warming sweet potato soup, where turkey and cranberry reduction act as tasty toppings, and sweet potatoes are the star.

1 cup cranberry sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion
2 celery ribs
1 leek, cleaned and sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry white wine   
1 quart turkey stock
2 pounds leftover mashed sweet potatoes
2 cups heavy cream
¼ teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Dash cayenne pepper
Dash Sherry vinegar
8 ounces cooked turkey

In a skillet over high heat, reduce the cranberry sauce by half and set aside.

In a heavy-bottomed pot set over medium heat, add the olive oil and sweat the onion, celery, leek and garlic. Once translucent, deglaze them with the white wine and reduce by half. Add the stock and sweet potatoes, and cook for 10 minutes. Blend thoroughly with either an immersion blender or by carefully transferring in batches to a traditional blender. Return the mixture to the pot and reduce the heat to low. Add the cream and cook until smooth, approximately 5 minutes. Season the mixture with nutmeg, salt, pepper, cayenne and vinegar.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, reheat the turkey. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top with the turkey and cranberry sauce reduction. Serves 4.

Chef Pairing: Pair this creamy soup with the buttery 2008 Russian River Valley Chardonnay from Terlato Family Vineyards.


Photo courtesy of Melissa MurphyLeftovers: Stuffing

Recipe remix: Pan-fried stuffing cakes with poached eggs and truffled Hollandaise sauce

Recipe courtesy Toni Robertson, chef, Asiate Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, New York City

These simple-to-make stuffing cakes are perfect for a post-Turkey Day brunch. Just add poached eggs and dress them up with truffled Hollandaise sauce for a sumptuous, wine-friendly dish.

4 cups stuffing           
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional         
4 poached eggs
3 egg yolks
¼ cup water
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice          
½ cup clarified butter
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
¼ cup chopped white truffles
½ teaspoon truffle oil
Microgreens, if desired, for garnish

Form 8 stuffing patties using about ½ cup of stuffing for each. Sprinkle oil onto a nonstick pan and sauté the patties over medium-high heat until they are crispy on both sides. Press down occasionally and add additional oil if necessary.

In small saucepan, whisk egg yolks, water and lemon juice until blended. Cook it over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture bubbles at the edges. Stir in the butter slowly until it’s melted and the sauce has thickened. Remove it from the heat immediately. Stir in the salt, paprika, chopped truffle and truffle oil.

Per plate, place the poached egg on top of the two patties and add a spoonful of the truffle hollandaise sauce. Add a sprinkling of microgreens for garnish, if desired. Serves 4.

Chef Pairing: Pour J&H Selbach’s 2012 Riesling Spätlese for its citrus character and crisp sweetness.


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