Turkey hangover

Try out turkey broth with your leftovers - you'll be thankful to use it, like chicken broth, as a...

Try out turkey broth with your leftovers - you'll be thankful to use it, like chicken broth, as a base for soups and to give extra oomph to stews, tomato pasta sauces, curries and gravies. (Stan Behal/QMI Agency)

ELIZABETH BAIRD, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:50 PM ET

How is it that there are no issues about leftover pumpkin pie? Or mashed potatoes? But turkey - well, there it is, the ultimate Thanksgiving leftover and a little bit unloved, in the fridge or freezer. Leftover turkey IS an issue. After all, the glorious bird was the centrepiece of the holiday table, and it's wise, thrifty and thoughtful to use up every last bit of it. These big-flavour recipes will help do that.

TURKEY AND ARTICHOKE PIZZA

Even if you don't eat artichoke hearts every day, it's handy to keep a can of them, or a jar in their marinated form, for quick pizza toppings, pasta sauces, even salads.

1 can (14 oz./398 ml) artichoke hearts or 1 jar (6.5 oz./184 g) marinated artichoke hearts
1 12-inch (30 cm) thin pizza base
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) pesto or olive oil
2 1/2 cups (625 ml) shredded Provolone or Fontina cheese
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) diced cooked turkey
2/3 cup (150 ml) diced sweet red or green pepper
Freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) snipped chives or sliced green onion
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) minced fresh parsley, optional

Preheat oven to 450F (225C). Drain canned artichoke hearts, discarding liquid; press firmly, but not roughly, to get rid of liquid. For marinated hearts, drain, reserving marinade for another use such as salad dressing. Slice hearts, the plain or marinated ones, thinly.

Set pizza base on pizza pan; brush with pesto. Sprinkle 1 cup (250 ml) of cheese evenly over base. Arrange artichoke slices, turkey, red pepper, remaining cheese and pepper over top.

Bake in bottom of oven until cheese bubbles and crust is browned, about 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chives, and parsley, if using.

Makes 3 to 4 servings.

PULLED TURKEY

Pork's the big "pulled" item these days, but why not try some of that perfectly good turkey, simmered in spicy barbecue sauce and served on slider or slightly larger ciabatta buns? Add coleslaw.

1 Tbsp. (15 ml) canola oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. (10 ml) sweet paprika
1 tsp. (5 ml) chili powder
1 tsp. (5 ml) cumin
1/2 tsp. (2 ml) salt, approximate
1/4 tsp. (1 ml) freshly ground pepper
Pinch cayenne, approximate
5 tsp. (25 ml) brown sugar
1 can (398 mL) tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) cider vinegar
2 cups (500 ml) shredded or minced turkey

In medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; fry onion and garlic, stirring but without browning, until very soft, about 6 minutes. Stir in paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne; cook until fragrant and slightly darkened, about 2 minutes.

Add sugar, tomato sauce and cider vinegar. Bring to simmer; reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered until reduced by about a quarter, about 10 minutes. Stir in turkey; simmer for 10 minutes to combine flavours. Taste, adjusting salt and cayenne level to your liking.

Makes about 4 cups (1 L), enough for 8 servings, (12 sliders or 8 ciabatta buns).

ORZO, TURKEY AND CRANBERRY SALAD

Here's a nod to lunches.

1 cup (250 ml) orzo
3 Tbsp. (45 ml) canola oil
1 cup (250 ml) cubed turkey
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped dried cranberries
1/2 cup (125 ml) crumbled feta or cubed Cheddar or Gouda
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) seasoned rice vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup (50 ml) shredded fresh basil
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) snipped chives or thinly sliced green onion
Salt

In medium-large saucepan of boiling salted water cook orzo until tender firm, about 8 minutes. Reserving 1/4 cup (50 ml) of cooking liquid, drain orzo; rinse in sieve. Shaking sieve, drain well; transfer orzo to serving bowl. Stir in oil.

Add turkey, cranberries, feta, vinegar and pepper; toss. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.) Add basil, chives and salt to taste. Add some of reserved cooking liquid if desired.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

TIP: Sprinkling toasted slivered almonds over salad just before serving add nice crunch and flavour.

TIP: On other occasions, when turkey is not lurking in the fridge, replace it with drained rinsed cooked chick peas.

TURKEY BROTH

I'm not proposing turkey soup, just the broth to freeze in handy 1 cup (250 ml) containers. You will be thankful to find it, like chicken broth, as a base for soups and to give extra oomph to stews, tomato pasta sauces, curries and gravies. The following is based on 14 lb. (6.3 kg) turkey.

Break apart bones; pack with skin, drippings and odd bits of meat and stuffing into a large stock pot. Add celery stalks or tops or 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) celery seed, chopped onion - no need to peel - a good spoonful of fresh or smaller of dried thyme, 5 peppercorns, long strip of lemon peel, 6 parsley stems if you have them and 2 bay leaves. Cover with cold water to come 2 inches (5 cm) above bones. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, pressing bones down into liquid. Simmer until liquid has reduced by almost half, about 2 hours. Let cool; strain through fine sieve. Refrigerate; lift off any congealed fat. Freeze in handy-sized airtight containers. The broth will not be clear, but it will be flavourful.


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