“When Christmas lunch is over, you’re often left with a mountain of turkey meat, not to mention the carcass, staring you in the face. You might be in a post-dinner food coma, but try not to just shove some cling film over the whole thing and heave it into the back of your fridge. Try a few of my time-saving tips to make the most of the whole bird.” – Steve Smith
Have a game plan
Decide what you’re going to do with your meat. Do you want to just pick the meat off for sandwiches? Do you want to make soup or stock with the bones? Do you want to save some of the meat for a future recipe? Think this through, as your plans for the leftover turkey will dictate how you take it apart.
Take it apart right after dinner. You probably already have a chopping board and carving knife out that you’ve already used for the turkey, so if you take apart the bird now, you only have to wash everything once. Taking it apart straight after your meal also means it will take up less space in your fridge. Put the meat into two separate piles; white meat for sandwiches and dark meat for cooking.
Bundle the bird into a pot and let it simmer away with whatever vegetables and herbs you have left over. Pour over cold water to cover the bones by an inch and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer gently for three hours, skimming the fat out occasionally, strain and remove the bones. The stock can be refrigerated in an airtight container for two or three days, or frozen for up to three months. You can reduce until syrupy to end up with a very strong, gelatinous stock which can be dropped into casseroles or soup.
Turn bird into brunch
Christmas dinner with all the trimmings might be heavy and full of fat, but turkey meat in itself is really good for you – high in protein and incredibly low in saturated fat.So why not give some lighter style dishes a try instead of the usual heavy curry, or turkey pie? A fresh turkey salad with juicy pomegranate seeds, or an Asian salad with fresh Clementine slices and a honey and soy dressing, would be the perfect antidote to all that gravy and stodge. Or, try pairing it with some Moroccan flavours, like aubergine and spicy harissa, for some winter warming flavour.
POSH TURKEY LEFTOVER SANDWICHES
Turkey, cream cheese, apple and celery, pecan and mizuna on rye bread.
MAKES 4 SANDWICHES
8 slices of rye (or multi-seed bread)
10 generous slices of white turkey meat
100 grams sliced/flaked turkey leg meat
1 Granny Smith apple, sliced
24 pecan nuts, roughly chopped
1 stick of celery, finely-chopped
120g cream cheese (or Philadelphia)
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp hazelnut vinaigrette
Butter all of the bread, divide the cream cheese between four slices and spread evenly.
Sprinkle the pecan nuts and celery over.
Divide the brown turkey meat between the sandwiches and cover with sliced apple. Season with salt and pepper.
Mix the mizuna with a little hazelnut dressing and place on top of the turkey meat.
Place the white turkey meat on top and place the remaining slice of bread on top.
Cut with a sharp serrated knife and serve.
Bohemia Bar & Restaurant, Green Street, St Helier, Jersey JE2 4UH, Channel Islands; bohemiajersey.com