Thanksgiving Leftover day is my favorite time of the year because figuring out what to do with the them is a fun creative exercise. It’s gotten to a point where I over-prepare dinner to ensure I’ll have stuff to play with for the whole weekend.
Here are some of my hacks to repurpose everything from mashed potatoes to the turkey bones.
1. Keep the Party Going
In years past my friends at Put a Egg on It would host a day after Thanksgiving sandwich potluck. Everyone would bring their leftovers and we’d spend all day making sandwiches. It’s such a great idea because you can try everything from another person’s dinner. Here are some of my favorites:
Pulled turkey is easy to make the next day. All you need to do is shred all the meat and simmer it in a bit of gravy and brown sugar. You can also ~trust me~ and use mang tomas a Filipino brown sugar liver sauce. Serve on potato rolls with pickles.
Leftover cured meats platter and salad turns into an Italian sub.
Have you ever considered a dessert sandwich?
2. Soup’s On
Save the turkey carcass and bones to make soup stock. Remove all the meat from the bird and set aside for another dish. Roast the bones on a sheet pan at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown. Throw those into a stock pot with any carrot shavings, celery hearts or tops; onion peels, garlic, bay leaf and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for up to 4 hours. Cool it down, strain and you’ll have stock for days!
Gravy can also act as a soup starter. Just add 1 cup of water or unsalted broth per tablespoon of gravy.
An easy leftover soup is shredded turkey, hot broth and a scoop of mashed potato.
3. Fry, My Pretties!
Cold mashed potatoes are perfect head start for croquettes. If your mashed potatoes are on the liquid-y side, stir in dry bread crumb or blended up stuffing to make a thicker filling. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the potatoes into balls, roll them in flour, dip them in whipped egg and roll in bread crumbs. If they fall apart while you are dredging them, the potatoes are too thin. I like to freeze these croquettes before deep frying for 3-4 minutes until they are golden brown.
Make turkey tenders by tearing leftover meat into large chunks. Similarly, dust them in flour, dredge in egg and panko breadcrumb before deep frying to a golden brown.
4. Butter Me Up
Make cranberry orange compound butter. Fold a hefty spoonful of cranberry sauce and zest of an orange into a stick of softened butter. Place the mixture on parchment paper, roll it into a log and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill for two hours to set it. It also freezes well for a couple months.
Got a ton of leftover herbs? Thyme, rosemary and sage blend well together with a bit of garlic and melted butter. You can substitute olive oil and use this as an easy spread for garlic bread. It lasts for up to another week or freezes for a couple months.
5. On the Rocks
Make a cranberry simple syrup by mixing 1 cup of hot water per 2 tablespoons of cranberry sauce. Strain the mixture, let it cool completely and mix with your favorite seltzer, lemonade or vodka on ice.
Cheers! If you use any of these leftover hacks, I’ve love to see it! Tag @Randwiches on Instagram.