I hope everybody had a pleasant and delicious Thanksgiving holiday. If your house is like ours, you’ve probably had your fill of turkey dinner leftovers and tried to get a little creative with them. Turkey and stuffing sandwiches, anyone? How about a Salvadoran Pane Con Pavos? Crispy stuffing with poached eggs for breakfast? Turkey tetrazzini?
I don’t like anything to go to waste. But I also try to make something really enjoyable with the leftovers rather than simply reheating and serving. The first thing that Chelsea and I enjoyed with the leftovers was a rich turkey soup made from the carcass, wings, leftover dark meat, and the confit juices from Darrin’s turkey legs, plus some gravy to add some more dimension to the soup. We still had some fresh kale salad and greens from the polytunnel, a little stuffing, and mashed potatoes to round out our pretty standard Thanksgiving leftovers meal.
The second leftovers meal was something to remember. Our friend Dave, currently of Minneapolis and an all-around connoisseur of fun and leftovers, was staying with us for the weekend, which meant that if we were going to prepare a dinner of leftovers at home, they had better be damn good leftovers. So, I got to work on a menu, which looked something like this:
Dave, not yet aware of the delicious leftovers
Roasted turkey carpaccio with curried green tomato chutney and homegrown lettuces
Turkey and brown rice bowl with Japanese garnishes
Leftover lemon and ginger Bavarian for dessert
If you remember from parts 1 and 2 of “Spatchcocked!” I lined the underside of the turkey breast skin with fresh leaves of sage and barded the breast with thin slices of pancetta. I was left with one-half turkey breast on Thanksgiving, which I removed intact from the turkey. For the carpaccio, I sliced the cold turkey breast as thinly as possible and fanned it out on a dinner plate. The fanned turkey looked pretty with the bits of sage and pancetta. When the turkey came to room temperature, I drizzled it with some extra virgin olive oil and fresh Meyer lemon juice, and seasoned with sel gris and fresh-cracked black pepper. In the center of the plate, I spooned some of my curried green tomato chutney. We enjoyed this turkey antipasto over fresh baby romaine leaves and mizuna lettuce from our winter polytunnel garden.
The brown rice bowl was as simple as can be, but incredibly satisfying. I’ll start by saying that turkey and brown rice are pleasingly complementary. They both have a certain earthiness that matches quite well. I began by boiling the brown rice in water and turkey broth with a turkey wing. When the rice was about 2/3 cooked, I added Darrin’s leftover shredded turkey confit. When the rice was fully cooked and rested, I poured it into a large mixing bowl and seasoned it with salt, pepper, ponzu, Meyer lemon zest, and rice wine vinegar. I dished the turkey rice into bowls and garnished with Japanese pickles and preserved seafoods/weeds, and accompanied them with fukake and hot sauces. Dave, a Korean American who lived for some time in Japan, thought the dish, in addition to being Japanese-inspired, was also Korean-inspired. I guess I must have really been trying to make him feel at home.