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Hometown Recipes: Transform Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

By Erin Walgamuth for KHTSAM-1220.

 

For most of the past 32 Thanksgivings, my family and I have traveled to Northern California for the holiday. This year we are staying home. One of the benefits of having the holiday dinner at our house, besides not packing three kids in the car at 4am and driving for 8 hours, is the leftovers.

Today, we'll delve into some creative ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers to make brand new dishes!

The first was inspired by a classic 1960's dish, Chicken Tetrazzini. My version is less complicated than the original and I use left-over turkey instead of chicken.

Then, we'll walk through a rosemary-infused pomegranate sauce, which is perfect for when we are all tired of sliced turkey with left-over gravy. This easy and delicious sauce is also great with grilled chicken or salmon.
Read below for recipes.

Turkey Tetrazzini

Serves 6
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees,
Place oven rack in the middle of the oven.

2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
4 whole black peppercorns
1 Turkish or ½ California bay leaf
3 whole cloves
6 tablespoons of butter
¾ pounds of thinly sliced mushrooms, brown or white
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup of heavy cream
3 tablespoons medium-dry sherry
½ pound spaghetti
2 pounds of left-over turkey, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Put broth, carrot, onion, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, and cloves in a 3 to 4 quart heavy saucepan to simmer for 30 minutes.

Pour broth mixture through a large sieve into a bowl, discard the solids. Put the broth back into the saucepan, cover with a lid to keep warm.

Butter bottom and sides of a 3-quart baking dish

Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat, then sauté mushrooms with ¼ teaspoon pepper, stirring, until liquid is evaporated and mushrooms begin to turn a golden color. Set aside.

Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a 2-3 quart heavy saucepan over low heat, then add flour and whisk roux, cooking for 3 minutes. Add the warm chicken broth in a steady stream, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Add the cream, sherry and continue to simmer over low heat, whisking occasionally for 10 minutes, salt and pepper to taste.

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling, salted water (about 1 tablespoon of salt) until al dente, drain well.

Toss together spaghetti, mushrooms, and half of sauce in a large bowl, and then transfer to the buttered baking dish. Stir together the turkey, and remaining sauce in the same large bowl. Make a depression in the middle of the spaghetti, then spoon the turkey sauce mixture into the depression and sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese.

Bake until sauce is bubbling and the top is golden, about 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Note: If you are short on time you can always just use chicken broth and skip the veggie broth simmer step. I would add a ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves to the cream and sherry sauce to keep that wonderful holiday flavor.

 

Pomegranate Sauce

1 cup pomegranate juice; I used Trader Joes Just Pomegranate from concentrate juice
¾ teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon ruby port
1 tablespoon butter
1 inch sprig fresh rosemary

Put pomegranate juice and rosemary sprig in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat until reduced to 2/3 cup. In the meantime stir together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Remove the rosemary sprig and whisk cornstarch and water mixture into the juice. Boil sauce until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Enjoy.

 

Click here to read an earlier article about my cranberry relish that morphs into a zesty spread for turkey sandwiches.

Erin Walgamuth has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe section.