I love Thanksgiving food, but not so much nearly a week later. Plus, with the weight I’ve gained around my middle from all that fried turkey, potatoes, and casseroles, I’m ready to pull back on the butter-rich comfort dishes. That’s what makes this turkey salad so fantastic—not only do you get to use up leftovers, the boring turkey gets a makeover in a healthier, lighter rendition. Inspired by a ritzy version from Neiman Marcus, you could just as easily swap out the turkey for chicken and add any additional fruits,
Thanksgiving is done, but the leftovers are not. Because Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday (and with that comes the love of traditional Thanksgiving food), the hubs and I usually cook enough fowl to feed family, friends, and ourselves for days, even weeks. This year was no exception: we sous vide a turkey and fried two turkeys. We vacuum sealed most of the leftover turkey to make it last as long as possible in the fridge. (You can freeze the turkey leftovers too.)
This was the first Thanksgiving in 12 years that I did not serve a fried turkey for our family Thanksgiving meal. Since my mama-in-law shrinks away from fried foods, we decided to put the new PolyScience immersion circulator to good use and sous vide our turkey instead.
IT’S THANKSGIVING WEEK! I’m that excited that I have to type it in all caps. I’ve said it many times before: Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. Most get four days off, the weather is lovely, there is no pressure and stress of gift-giving, and all you do is watch/play football and stuff your faces with comfort foods.
Your crazy family came and went. Now all that’s left is a big ol’ turkey carcass. Wait, don’t throw anything away just yet. In this time and age when offal eating has become the trend, I’m going to show you what you can do with all those leftover turkey bones. First, you make turkey stock. Duh! Then, you use that stock to make turkey congee. Every Asian country has its own version of rice porridge. It’s the ultimate Asian comfort food. Think of the Americans with their chicken noodle soup.
For nine years and counting, it’s been my little tradition to fry a turkey for Thanksgiving. In 2001 when I started my first job out of college, my Louisianan coworker, Brandi, informed me her family deep-fries a turkey every year for Thanksgiving. I pictured a spicy flour battered turkey–just like Popeye’s chicken but in whole bird form and five times larger. I was surprised to learn that fried turkey wasn’t battered at all–simply rubbed down with Cajun spice and then thrown (very carefully) into a vat of hot peanut oil.
With all of our fancy feasts lately, I was craving something completely on the other end of the spectrum. I brought it back old school with a variation of the school lunch favorite: sloppy joes. Everyone has memories of their elementary school experience when the hefty, hair-netted cafeteria lady would slop the meat mixture onto their open-faced bun. (Pass on the white milk…chocolate milk, please.) To make it a little healthier, I used ground turkey instead of the usual ground beef. The original recipe came from ChoppedOnions on All Recipes.