Howdy from Will Nickerson again, with a post-Thanksgiving thought or two. Turkey Day has come and gone, and if you’re like me, without a big family to gobble up a big gobbler, you might have ended up with mountains of leftovers. The ghosts of that big turkey dinner can come back to haunt you for days afterward, unless you do a little planning ahead. Now some people love leftover turkey. Like Jenine. She says the leftovers are the best part. And more power to her. And besides–she’s got a big family, so those leftovers won’t last so long for them. But not everybody has a big family and not everybody relishes the idea of those plates of leftover turkey appearing again and again. To start with, the stuff doesn’t taste the same. Ever notice that? Leftover turkey–or chicken–has a stronger flavor than when it’s freshly cooked. I don’t know why. But it’s true. Hmmmmm… That’s a mystery that could use some sleuthing–who–or what–put that “gamy” taste in the leftover poultry? Let me know in a comment if you’re a culinary scientist and know the reason. There are millions of recipes you can do using leftovers that can help turn them into more satisfying dinners. One, I recall, calls for dicing up the turkey meat and mixing it with peas, noodles and generous portions of ranch salad dressing, which you bake for an hour or so and you get a tasty casserole. I think it’s the ranch dressing that kills the “gamy” taste of the turkey. And there’s a Tex-Mex rice casserole that can also make secondhand poultry more palatable. Dice up the meat and mix it with rice, coriander and plenty of chili powder. With this one, it’s the chili powder that does the trick. There are plenty of other recipes out there–check online for more ideas, and your leftover turkey will go down much better than having it “straight”. But it’s not just the taste. If you aren’t careful about cooking the leftover turkey thoroughly, it can lead to painful results. My author, R. L. Anderson, can attest to that too, as we’ve both had acute leftoverturkitis, when it made us downright sick. And I mean sick. Worst stomach cramps I’ve ever had, and I was laid up for a week. That ol’ gobbler got his revenge that year. Since then, we’ve gone to having Cornish hen for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner instead of turkey. No leftovers! It disappears right on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, and as for all the trimmings, such as mashed potato, stuffing and lima beans, we just make them in the portions we’d have for any other dinner. So–if you have a big family–great! Hope you enjoyed that great big gobbler. But if you don’t have a big family, it’s always wise to be practical and scale it down with the dinner. That’s the best prevention for leftoverturkitis.
See what the rest of the gang in New Oslo have to say about leftoverturkitis in Let’s Make It Merry Christmas, by R. L. Anderson. It’s available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle, and the e-book is on Nook and Kobo, too. And hope your Thanksgiving was great!
Author’s Note: Just found an error in the link to Let’s Make It Merry Christmas on Nook, so if you’ve tried clicking on this link, you may have had an error. I’ve got it fixed–so it should be up and running now.
R. L. Anderson