Repurposing holiday feast leftovers

Joined Dec 18, 2010
Here in the United States we just finished celebrating Thanksgiving, and despite to current climate I cooked a full holiday dinner feast in the style of New England: Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, cornbread, roasted Brussels sprouts with crispy pancetta, creamy mashed potato, and cornbread.

There were no leftovers (to use the words of Iceman). Well... there was some leftover turkey meat... but that’s to be expected.

Turkey legs and wings, which nobody seems to like eating, were repurposed into a delectable turkey salad for sandwiches. The remainder will get smothered by mole poblano, from a paste bought at local Mexican market.

The remainder of the buttermilk getting frozen for future biscuit making.

The remainder of the heavy cream... well this year becomes an experiment. Most often I convert to butter but I have a Meyer Lemon tree just brimming with ripe fruit... so a lemon posset will be made.


How about you... how do you repurpose leftover holiday feast food and ingredients?
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Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
I do have some Asian ideas saved away I've not tried yet.

For the last link I do routinely render the turkey fat around the neck and tail. I use it for some of the stuffing fat, for gravy roux, for the tamales. But they use it more directly on the rice in an interesting way.
Joined Feb 8, 2009
I could take care of three dishes in one sandwich. The mashed potatoes can be used for fried Potato patties for breakfast. 17D52354-7131-4BEA-AA97-830CEA9734A4.jpeg 5F5DB49A-9B3A-4A45-8DFD-6F83129C4048.jpeg
Joined Sep 17, 2018
My wife likes cold turkey sandwiches on white bread. I'm a heathen and just pile a bunch of reheated leftovers on a plate and just have Thanksgiving dinner several times. Though this year we had more than usual because leftovers usually get sent home with people as care packages.
Joined Dec 18, 2010
Open-face hot turkey sandwich, with stuffing/dressing, was always a favorite of mine. But no gravy and no stuffing/dressing.

So how about a mesoAmerican mashup: open-faced turkey and mole negro sandwich?

Not the best mole, and not even the best brand of commercial mole paste... but yummy enough.

“There were no Leftovers”. LOL... I wish I said that first!


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Joined Oct 9, 2008
Friday: turkey-mushroom crepes
Saturday: turkey mole (I cheated and used a premade jar of mole concentrate)
Sunday: turkey gumbo
Lunches have been heavy on stuffing and mashed.

There's just one upper wing left, and about a cup of stuffing. Not another thing.
Joined Jul 13, 2012
I started a big pot (2.5gal) of turkey bone broth today - 40hrs. at 199F makes a wonderful, clear and nutritious thing. I pulled sandwich meat and soup meat then chopped the carcass up, put it in the roasting pan with carrots, celery, onion, dried palsilla pepper, herbs, pepper corns, garlic, a few other things then roasted for 45min. @ 450. It'll be ready Tuesday - can't wait to do a riff on French Onion Soup only using the turkey broth, onions, a pan toasted slice of stuffing and some smoked Gruyere on top and under the salamander for a minute.

The house smells amazing by the way - just sayin'
Joined Nov 5, 2007
Open-face hot turkey sandwich, with stuffing/dressing, was always a favorite of mi

Indeed! I may have related this story before. In my previous job I often found myself in and around North Salt Lake. A small diner opened up, Janet's Sunshine Cafe. Maybe two dozen seats at the tables, 4 stools along the counter. It was the kind of place where it felt like you were sitting down at your friend's kitchen table. Basic food, fresh ingredients, well executed, great home made soups.

At one point the Wednesday special was an open face hot turkey sandwich, served with mashed potatoes and a veggie, usually corn or green beans. And it was real turkey, roasted in the oven, not some processed, reformed turkey loaf type thing. And you'd get a generous pile of light and dark meat. I managed to eat there maybe 4 - 5 times a month, the turkey was one of my favorites.

So one day I order it for lunch, chow it down, and go to pay. As usual, the women at the cash register asks "How was everything?" I get a solemn look on my face, and say "Well, since you asked" and then pause a moment. She gets a look on her face like "Is it about to hit the fan?" And I continue my comment with "I think I was shorted a tablespoon or two of gravy on my turkey."

She looks at me like "You [bleep bleep bleep]" and then has a good laugh. But wait, there's more! And it so happened that I had lunch there the following week, and of course ordered the turkey special. The server brings out my plate and sets it down, and there on the side is a little bowl of extra gravy! Yep, I enjoyed that place.

It got very popular, haven't been there for years. Drove by one afternoon and the sign was different, saying just "Sunshine Cafe" Janet's name no longer on it. She must have sold it to a new owner or something. I've not eaten there since the change, don't even know if it is still there, but I'll always remember the gravy story.

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