Fighting the leftover blues

Just because Thanksgiving is over, doesn't mean all the turkey has been eaten; here are simple ideas to liven up the leftovers.

Tukey dinner (photo credit: Wikicommons)
Tukey dinner
(photo credit: Wikicommons)
There is a unique phenomenon around the globe the week of the American holiday of Thanksgiving.  Grocers and butchers internationally sell more turkeys that week than any other time of the year. Are people connected to the idea of thanks? Or are they just responding to the plethora of recipes and articles about making turkey that make it to international media? 
Whether you celebrate the American holiday of Thanksgiving or not, you can always use some great ideas for leftover turkey or chicken that turns the idea of leftovers into something wonderful. My family is a bunch of leftover snobs so I always need to find a creative way to use them without a hint of the original.  These pass the test.
Quick Chili with Leftover TurkeyServes 8I love to add my leftover turkey or chicken to this chili recipe.  It adds an extra layer of protein and heartiness to an already delicious and nutritious dish.
2 tablespoons canola oil1 cup chopped onion3 cloves garlic, minced½ cup diced green bell pepper2 tablespoons chili powder1½ teaspoons ground cumin2 (425 g) cans no-salt-added, stewed tomatoes, undrained1 (425 g) can red kidney beans, drained1 (425 g) can garbanzo beans, drained1 cup water1 cup diced leftover cooked turkey or chicken
Quick chili with leftover turkey
Quick chili with leftover turkey
Heat canola oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, about five minutes. 
Add green pepper, chili powder, cumin, tomatoes with juice, kidney beans, garbanzo beans and water. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. Add turkey and cook until heated through.  Ladle into individual soup bowls.
Turkey Salad with Mustard DressingServes 8
I love the sweet and creamy dressing on this turkey/chicken salad. It keeps for days and works with leftover turkey or chicken.
2 cups leftover turkey or chicken, cut into bite size piecesKosher salt and freshly ground black pepper2 cups broccoli florets1  cup mayonnaise1 tablespoons dry white wine3 tablespoons Dijon mustard2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard1 1/4 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Place the broccoli florets in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook for one minute, until crisp tender, drain, and place into a bowl of ice water until cool. This will stop the cooking and set the bright green color.  Drain and dry the broccoli.
For the dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, wine, both mustards, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Add the tarragon, broccoli, and tomatoes and mix gently to combine. Stir in the turkey or chicken. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.
Minestrone Soup with Leftover TurkeyServes 8
Take hearty minestrone soup and add leftover turkey or chicken and make it into a meal. The turkey soaks up all the great flavors of the soup.  Use any vegetables of your liking in the soup.
2 tablespoons canola oil1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
450 g mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
115 g string beans cut into bite-size pieces
1 green zucchini, cut into thin half circles
5 ½ cups beef broth (best to use parve bouillon cubes)
1 potato, peeled and cut into cubes
½ cup uncooked macaroni noodles
½ cup corn or 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 (450 g) can red kidney beans
1 (450 g) can chopped tomatoes with juice
2 cups water2 cups diced leftover turkey or chicken
oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions, garlic, basil, thyme and oregano. Add zucchini, carrots, celery, mushrooms, string beans, corn and potato. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add water, beef broth and tomatoes with juice. Cook for 15 minutes. Boil.
Add beans with liquid and pasta. Cook for 10 minutes.
Add turkey and heat until cooked through.These recipes were brought to you by