Last year about this time, I wrote about discarded turkey carcasses and explored how very easy it is to make turkey stock. If you've not adopted the habit yet, I highly recommend it and you can read all about it at Eat This Now, Seasonal Pantry's companion blog at <a href="http://pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com" target="_blank">pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com</a>.

If there is a lot of meat still on the carcass, it makes sense to cut it or pull it off before you simmer the bones. The reason some people don't is that they don't know how and often don't want to admit it. You can ask for help or you can use well-washed hands to simply pull off as much meat as possible. It's not difficult.

Once you have the meat, use it for salads, tacos, enchiladas, sandwiches, quiche, soups, stews, chili, mol? risotto, gumbo and any other dishes in which you use turkey stock. Leftover turkey is so good and so versatile that many people I know buy a much larger bird than dinner warrants just so they'll have plenty left.

Today's recipes focus on the dishes I'm looking forward to making this year, after the feast is but a lovely memory. Happy Thanksgiving!


Wild rice has a beautifully earthy flavor that pairs beautifully with turkey, especially the darker meat. I prefer this salad with pomegranates but it is also delicious with cranberry relish; just substitute one-half cup of homemade cranberry relish for the cup of pomegranate arils and make the dressing with cranberry vinegar and juice instead of pomegranate vinegar and juice. Both are readily available in most markets these days.

<strong>Wild Rice Salad with Roast Turkey, Pomegranates & Walnuts</strong>

<em> Makes 4 to 6 servings</em>

1 cup wild rice

— Kosher salt

— Pomegranate Vinaigrette, recipe follows

2 cups roasted turkey meat, torn into small pieces

1 cup fresh pomegranate arils

1/2 cup shelled walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped

3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

1 teaspoon minced fresh sage

— Black pepper in a mill

Put the rice into a medium saucepan, add 3 cups of water and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand 10 minutes before uncovering. Turn the rice out into a large salad bowl, fluff it with a fork and set it aside to cool.

While the rice cooks, make the vinaigrette.

To finish the salad, add the turkey, pomegranates and walnuts to the rice and toss gently. Add the dressing and the herbs and toss again. Season with several turns of black pepper, taste, correct for salt and serve immediately.


This recipe is adapted from one in "Vinaigrettes and Other Dressings" (Harvard Common Press, 2013). I've reduced the amount so that you have just enough for this salad. It is very easy to extract the juice of a pomegranate; just crush the arils in a large mortar or suribachi and then strain the juice into a glass or cup. It takes mere moments.

<strong>Pomegranate Vinaigrette</strong>

<em> Makes about 2/3 cup</em>

1 small shallot minced

1 tablespoon pomegranate vinegar or Champagne vinegar, plus more to taste

— Pinch of sugar

— Kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed pomegranate juice

— Zest of 1/2 orange, grated

— Black pepper in a mill

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Put the shallot into a small bowl, cover with the vinegar and let sit 10 to 20 minutes.

Add the sugar and several generous pinches of salt. Stir in the pomegranate juice, orange zest and several turns of black pepper. Whisk in the olive oil, taste, correct for salt and pepper and taste again. If it seems a bit flat, add a pinch more sugar. If it is not quite tart enough, add a bit more vinegar. Set aside until ready to use.


I've been making a lot of quiche lately because it is one of my grandson Lucas's favorite things right now. He walks into the kitchen after school, finds a quiche cooling, leans in to catch its aromas, sighs and says, "Wow, this smells so awesome!" I tend to favor simple Quiche Lorraine with nothing more than good eggs, cream, butter and bacon, but I do mix it up for him, adding broccoli and cheddar cheese, spinach and garlic and, his favorite, sauteed maitake mushrooms and Gruyere cheese. I'll be making turkey quiche soon, too, probably on Monday so that it is waiting from him when he gets home from school. You'll notice that I call for a frozen pie shell. I've had to learn a few shortcuts to keep up with Lucas and find that if I freeze the pie shell — or even resort to purchasing one — I can put it straight into the oven without pre-baking it and have it turn out perfectly. If you prefer to pre-bake your pie shell, feel free to do so.

<strong>Quiche with Turkey and Sage</strong>

<em> Serves 4 to 6</em>

1 tablespoon butter

1 shallot, minced

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh minced sage

— Kosher salt

— Black pepper in a mill

1 1/2 cups roasted turkey meat, torn into small pieces

5 large eggs from pastured chickens

3/4 cup heavy cream, preferably organic

19-inch pie shell, frozen

4 ounces grated Gruyere cheese, optional

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Put the butter into a small saute pan set over medium-low heat and when it is melted add the shallots and saute until limp and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Add the sage, season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Let cool and toss with the turkey.

Put the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk well. Add the cream, season with salt and pepper and whisk again. Set aside briefly.

Set the pie shell on a work surface. Spread the turkey over the bottom of the shell and top with the cheese, if using. Pour the custard on top and gently agitate the pie pan to distribute evenly.

Carefully transfer to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Check on the quiche and if the center is still liquid and if it has not risen and browned, cook for 5 to 10 minutes more.

Transfer to a rack or a cutting board to cool.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

<em>Michele Anna Jordan hosts "Mouthful" each Sunday at 7 p.m. on KRCB 90.9 & 91.1 FM. E-mail Jordan at michele@ micheleannajordan.com. You'll find her blog, "Eat This Now," at pantry.blogs. pressdemocrat.com.</em>