Cooking with Leftover Turkey

The New Year’s Eve party and family reunion suffered a setback. We had the garden all laid out for an all-day and all-night party but it rained the entire day and we had to move everything indoors. All the barbecuing we had planned took place on the stovetop grill instead. It was still great though. Lunch was a potluck affair with chicken pastel, braised beef, potato salad, spaghetti, pineapple upside-down cake, and poppy seed cake for dessert.

New Year’s Eve dinner was stuffed with roast turkey, barbecued beef brisket, chicken satay (see also the Vietnamese version), and grilled tilapia. On the side were mashed potatoes, macaroni salad, and fresh sweet corn on the cob. There was fresh fruit salad and several cakes for dessert. In cooking the turkey, I followed a reader’s suggestion and inserted chilled butter and slices of onion between the turkey breast meat and skin. I used a small sharp knife to separate the skin from the meat and it went between small cubes of chilled butter and super thin onion slices. Unbelievable what that little trick managed to achieve. The turkey breast meat was tender and super moist.

We opened two bottles of champagne at midnight, watched the distant fireworks, and made a light meal from the dinner leftovers.
It is January 2 and everything is back to normal. Like I did last year, I simmered the turkey carcass and picked the remaining meat to make good use of them. For lunch today, I made onion soup from the broth made from the turkey carcass and turkey, and pesto spaghetti from the meat salvaged from the bones.

To make the onion soup, I finely minced flour cloves of garlic and thinly sliced two onions. I sauteed the garlic and onions in two tablespoons of butter, poured in the broth, seasoned the soup with salt and pepper, and garnished it with finely sliced green onions. For the main dish, I made spaghetti for four (the house helpers are on their day off) 200 grams of spaghetti tossed with homemade pesto and pan-heated leftover turkey meat. In case you don’t know it yet, frugality is always in fashion.