Love Your Leftovers

It’s the 2nd of January, and if your household is anything like mine, there’s probably still plenty of leftover Turkey wrapped in foil parcels in the fridge, freezer and anywhere else you can stash it. But if you’re fed up of Turkey sandwiches, there’s so much more you can do with your leftover Christmas feast.

Turkey stock is probably the most traditional thing you can make with your turkey carcass. I tend to take the legs & wings off of mine to use later, and keep the body of the Turkey for the pot. I make it to a blissfully simple recipe:
1) Add carrots, celery, onion, black peppercorns and tarragon to a large stock pot with the Turkey carcass.
2) Pour in a generous glass of white wine, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil.
3) Once boiling, turn down to a gentle simmer, partly cover the pan and leave for 2 – 3 hours.
4) After simmering, skim the top if need be, drain of the solid ingredients and you’ll have a delicious, flavoursome stock that you can use for loads of recipes. It’s great to freeze in portions for when you need it.

Turkey Soup is always a winner in my house as it’s so easy to do and makes a great dinner when you’re just too full for another roast. I use Delia Smith’s rule and have around 500g of vegetables per pint of stock, but you really don’t need to stick too rigidly to this, I’m not one for weighing my chopped veg before I chuck it in!
1) To start off, melt butter with a tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan then add chopped onions and cook until translucent.
2) Follow the onions with chopped leeks, garlic, celery and carrots, in that order, making sure to add them one by one so you don’t reduce the temperature in the pan too much.
3) Clamp a lid on and sweat the vegetables until all softened, around 20 mins depending on how full your pot is. Once the veg are ready, add the homemade Turkey stock and season to taste.
4) Simmer on a low heat for around an hour and a half undisturbed.
5) Once cooked, all you need to do is blend until smooth, add back to the pot to warm up and dress with a swirl of cream before enjoying with some fresh bread.

Another staple of my Christmas leftover menu is Turkey Curry. I’m a firm believer that good curry needs meat on the bone to get the best flavour, so this is where I use the legs & wings that I took off the bird before making my stock.
1) Add butter and oil to a large saucepan and add a tablespoon of mustard seeds.
2) When the seeds start to pop, throw in a couple of diced onions with a good tablespoon of ground turmeric, which instantly gives the dish a sweet aroma and sunshine yellow colour.
3) Once the onions have started to cook down, add 2 cloves of chopped garlic and cook for another couple of minutes before adding an inch piece of fresh ginger, grated.
4) Now all the fresh ingredients are in, add the spices to fry them off. I use a tablespoon of ground cumin and a tablespoon and a half of ground coriander, a good dash of garam masala, dried chilli flakes and hot chilli powder. To keep this feeling festive I also add around half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon & cloves too, but not enough to overpower the Turkey.
5) After frying the spices for a few minutes they should take on a paste like consistency from mixing with the oil. Once they’ve got to that texture and have started to fill the house with their lovely aroma, add 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, then fill one of the tins halfway with water or stock and add this to the pot too, then stir and bring to the boil.
6) Once boiling, turn down to a low simmer and leave to cook for 2 – 3 hours. I always make my curry the day before I want to eat it so it can sit and let the flavours mingle, so once it’s had its first cook, let it cool and leave it overnight.
7) The next day, take the now cold Turkey leg and wing out of the pot, strip off all the meat and add it back to the curry sauce, then discard the bones before putting the curry back on a low heat to warm through.
8) Since I was a child, I’ve always had boiled eggs in my curry, so I hard boil an egg per person, shell them and then add these to the curry.
9) Once everything has heated through, the sauce has thickened and you’re ready to eat, blanket the top of the curry with chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve up with boiled rice & naan bread to soak up the juices.

Whoever said leftovers were boring?