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Buh-bye turkey sandwiches. Reinventing leftovers for the best day-after feast ever.

Buh-bye turkey sandwiches. Reinventing leftovers for the best day-after feast ever.

Forget the tetrazzini and the tired sandwiches. This year, turn your holiday leftovers into something exciting. Our chefs share their favorite recipes for their own after the feast festivities. From Turkey Tortilla Soup to Turkey Jook, we've got you covered.

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Tortilla Soup
"There are a lot of parts to this soup, but it comes together easily if you break it down. I chop the vegetables for the stock when I make the Thanksgiving stuffing, since it includes many of the same ingredients. Once the turkey is carved and the carcass is clean, I throw it in the stockpot with the aromatics and set it to simmer while we eat dessert and clean up. I also make the chile and tomato base a few days ahead and refrigerate it. Sometimes I'll make the soup base the day before, since I’m busy in the kitchen anyway. If you happen to end up without any leftovers, you can add shredded rotisserie chicken instead." - Chef Justine Kelly

Turkey stock:
1 white onion
1 to 2 carrots
2 to 3 celery ribs
5 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 leftover carcass of one 10- to 20-pound roasted turkey, cut or torn into large pieces
2 quarts water

Tortilla soup base:
2 dried Ancho chiles
3 dried New Mexican chiles
1 to 2 jalapeños, optional
4 to 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 pound Roma tomatoes

Tortilla soup:
1 white onion
3 cups leftover turkey meat, preferably dark meat, shredded

Garnishes:
4 corn tortillas
1 large avocado
Small bunch cilantro
3 ounces queso fresco
2 to 3 red radishes
2 limes 

Wash all produce before use

Preheat oven to 450°

1 Make the stock

  • Peel and coarsely chop the onion.

  • Trim the tops of the carrots and coarsely chop the carrots.

  • Trim the ends from the celery and coarsely chop with celery.

In a large stock pot over medium heat, warm 2 to 3 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the turkey carcass, parsley, and water (don’t worry if the carcass sticks up out of the water a bit; as the stock cooks, the bones will soften and you can gently press them under the water with a spatula or spoon). Cook until rich and flavorful, at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.

2 Roast the garlic and tomatoes for the soup base
Lightly oil a sheet pan. Arrange the garlic and tomatoes on the pan and roast in the oven until the garlic is soft, the tomato skins are blistered, and the tomato interiors have started to collapse, 12 to 15 minutes for the garlic, and 15 to 20 minutes for the tomatoes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a plate while the tomatoes finish.

While the garlic and tomatoes roast, prepare the chiles.

3 Toast the chiles for the soup base

  • Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chiles.

Heat a large, dry frying pan over medium heat. Add the dried chiles and toast, turning a few times, until soft and pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover with 3 cups hot water, and let soak for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid.

Meanwhile, if using, add the jalapenos to the pan and cook, turning a few times, until lightly charred, 6 to 8 minutes.

4 Assemble the soup base

In a blender, working in batches if necessary, combine the tomatoes, garlic, dried soaked chiles, reserved soaking liquid, and as many of the jalapeños as you like. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt.

5 Make the soup

  • Peel and finely chop the onion.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and cook until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Ladle in the turkey stock, leaving behind the bones and vegetables (alternatively, ladle it through a fine-mesh strainer). Add the soup base, turkey stock, and shredded turkey meat, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. While the soup simmers, prepare the garnishes.

6 Prep the garnishes

  • Cut the tortillas in thin strips.

  • Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, scoop out the flesh, and cut the flesh into ½-inch cubes.

  • Coarsely chop the cilantro.

  • Crumble the queso fresco.

  • Cut the radishes in half, then cut crosswise into thin half-moons.

  • Cut the limes into wedges.

7 Fry the tortilla strips

In the same pan used to toast the chiles, over medium-high heat, heat ¼ cup oil until hot but not smoking. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, carefully lower the tortilla strips into the oil. Cook, turning frequently, until crisp and lightly brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season lightly with salt. 

8 Serve

Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Garnish with the tortilla strips, avocado, cilantro, queso fresco, and radishes. Serve with the lime wedges on the side.

Nutrition per serving (8 servings) Note - nutrition does not include garnishes: Calories: 230, Protein: 22 g, Total Fat: 10 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 45 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 3 g, Added Sugar: 0 g, Sodium: 480 mg

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