Turkey is one of those foods that is good for you, but too much becomes too much of a good thing very fast. That is why I decided to explore what people are doing with leftover turkey and point you to some good leftover turkey recipes.
Frozen, raw turkey is good for 2-3 years, but is best used within 7 months. This means when turkey is on sale around the holidays, it is not a bad thing to buy one to make in the late Spring. Also, frozen cooked turkey is good for 2-3 months or longer if you froze it soon after cooking. This means you can spread out those turkey dishes through months.
That definitely helps, but plain turkey gets old fast, so here are four ideas of what you can do with leftover turkey.
Turkey Salad – This is a great option the day after a holiday when you have leftover turkey that is chilled. Simply cube it up along with celery, onion, hard-boiled eggs, pickles, mayo, and mustard. Salt and pepper to taste. Add lettuce and tomato to the sandwich or wrap and you have a yummy way to eat more turkey even though you just had it the day before.
Turkey Curry – I found this recipe a while back here and then made some modifications and made my own leftover turkey curry recipe. This is so good I could eat it more often than I do. Basically, you follow the recipe and make a great curry gravy that the turkey simmers in and then it is served with rice and nan to make a savory Indian tasting dish that does not seem to have turkey in it at all. And you can make it in about 30 minutes with no exotic ingredients other than the curry spice, which you probably already have.
Turkey Fried Rice – This is a no brainer. Look up any chicken fried rice recipe and substitute turkey. One key is to make sure the meat is well coated with the spices and give it time to crisp in the wok. Some crunchy texture and added flavor will make the turkey more delicious. You usually only need rice (cooled), soy sauce, garlic, ginger, oil and vegetables of choice, like peas, carrots, green onions or broccoli if you want to make it really healthy.
Turkey Enchiladas – The key with substituting turkey for chicken in enchiladas is to make sure you coat the turkey with the enchilada sauce. You can find recipes to make your own enchilada sauce or you can use a packet with tomato sauce. Either way, make sure the turkey has beans and rice in as well, and sautéed onions and peppers as well as flavorful cheese.
When you see these four options, they are all from different countries. Indian, Mexico, China, and the USA. But what they all have in common to deal with turkey, which can be fairly plain, is they all have a sauce that makes the dish moister and more flavorful.