Hi guys! Last night my family used out turkey bounty to make sandwiches with the turkey meat, stuffing and cranberry sauce on the leftover sourdough bread. I didn’t bother doing a write up or pictures because any Dingus can make a sandwich.
Tonight though, I’m making my favorite leftover turkey meal, turkey croquettes. If you’re familiar with these I bet you love them and if you aren’t, it’s time to get familiar. You could do this with chicken too of course.
I love making a huge piece of meat like a turkey because for the next few nights our meals are basically upcycled. Minimal time needs to be invested to have a delicious meal and because it’s reframed into something new you don’t get that ‘sick of this already’ fatigue that can happen if it’s the same exact meal night after night.
For this meal, I used a mix of dark and white meat that I pulsed ten times in my food processor just to break it up. I did four big handfuls, if you follow my posts you know I’m not about measuring if I don’t need to.
I also pulsed leftover stuffing until it was a fine crumb, added the leftover corn, a third of a bag or so of frozen peas and three eggs… started with two and added another. I sprinkled on some pepper and poultry seasoning and mixed this all together.
You’re looking for your mixture to stick together easily like a meatball blend, essentially this isn’t too different than a meatball with already cooked components. I formed it all into patties that fit loosely into the palm of my hand and put them into the fridge to firm up for an hour or so. If you can manage to do the prep an hour ahead it makes them much more likely to hold their shape in the cooking process. If you’re time crunched, fifteen or twenty minutes in the freezer would do it too I’m sure.
When it’s time to cook, pull them out and set the oven to 375. You could go ahead and just bake these off for about 25 minutes and that would cook them through but you don’t get the nice crust you will get by giving them a pan sauté first, so I highly recommend you do that.
While your oven is preheating, set a nonstick pan over medium high heat with just enough oil to coat the bottom lightly. Don’t crowd the pan with croquettes, be sure there is a good inch between each one, you can probably do four at a time if you go with big ones like I do.
Put them in the pan and don’t disturb them for a couple of minutes. Use a spatula to flip them to the other side once golden brown, 3-4 minutes a side over medium high or if you’re a little more daring, go ahead and use high heat and it will be more like two minutes per side but you need to stay on top of them lest they burn.
After their searing, place back onto the baking sheet and once they’re all done in the pan put them in the oven for 15 minutes to cook through.
I’m serving these with leftover mashed potatoes and gravy and some fresh sourdough pretzels I made for fun so my entire time invested in this meal isn’t much at all and it’s so good and different than straight up turkey it feels like something totally new.
You could also use these to make a killer sandwich, put them with a salad, over rice, with baked potato wedges, or just by themselves for a lunch. Leftovers keep and reheat great!
I wrote the section about croquettes and then all hell broke loose in our lives for a few days. Everyone needed something, doctor appointments, a car accident, just a big tidal wave and the post never got up so I’m going to combine it with tonight’s dinner which was turkey Sheppards pie!
So this Sheppard’s pie comes together really fast and easy and is a great make ahead meal because it can be fully assembled and then refrigerated and then just baked off when it’s time to eat.
To make it, using an oven safe large skillet, I started with a two tablespoon roux of flour and olive oil, two tablespoons of each and added some poultry seasoning, thyme, black pepper and salt. I whisked that over medium low heat for two minutes and then added a little bit of leftover turkey gravy, about a cup of turkey stock and a splash of heavy cream. Whisk that all together until thickened and bubbly. You’re looking for a sauce that’s on the thicker side so it really glues the ingredients together a bit.
To this, I added one steamed bag of mixed vegetables and two cups of chopped turkey, dark and white mixed. Mix this all together and set aside in the skillet.
At the same time that this was going I had four large potatoes that I peeled and chopped boiling for the mashed potato topping. Boil until fork tender and then drain, and then warm a half a cup or so or cream and half a stick of butter in the pot you boiled them in. I added half a tablespoon of salt as well, added the potatoes back in once the butter was melted and mashed them until smooth.
Dollop the potatoes over the top of the turkey mixture and then smooth it out to cover, intentionally leaving some ridges which will brown in the oven and create some nice crunchy bits. At this point, you can refrigerate until ready to cook or go straight into a 400 degree oven for half an hour, maybe ten minutes longer if it was in the fridge.
If you don’t get enough browning action, stick it under the broiler for a couple of minutes. My husband literally licked the plate clean on this one, and Henry the cat checked his work!