Hello my friends and readers,
Hope you had a jolly good time during the Christmas holidays. Our Christmas was not quite the same as other years but I am very grateful for what we had and for spending time here in Athens with all my children. I wouldn’t exchange that with any fancy dinner parties or expensive gifts.
This year, as I had stated before Christmas we preferred to buy a frozen turkey, which cost half the price and it was so delicious that even if we can afford a fresh one in the future, I am never turning back to the fresh one, for many reasons.
a) Waste of money
b) The fresh one needs hours and a lot of work to remove all the feathers which at least in Greece, they do not clean properly.
c) It tasted amazing and I urge you to try my bringing method, which gave the bird a lovely citrus taste.
d) Although the weight was the same as previous years, it did not had fat and there was more meat to it.
I stuffed it and roasted it the same way I’ve been doing it for decades. I asked my children if they wanted me to do something different, for instance to stuff it with minced meat and pine nuts but they unanimously decided that they wanted the one I always make with chicken giblets. This year I even bought frozen giblets and I always buy more than is necessary to stuff the turkey because as I said they love it. What’s leftover, I wrap it in aluminium foil and bake it together with the turkey.
As always, the turkey was cooked with Greek roasted lemony potatoes. I made two salads, one with cabbage and a tambouli (tabbouleh) which both hold well for 3 – 4 days. Tzatziki is always a must on the Christmas table and of course baked slices of bread. After eating for lunch and dinner, the potatoes were gone and so was most of the filling but there was a lot of leftover meat.
As usual I boiled all the bones and carcass with a pot full of water for half an hour and when it cooled I removed any leftover meat from the bones and believe me there was still about 2 cups of meat. I drained the broth which I have kept to use in other recipes.
Turkey leftovers can be made more than a sandwiches. You pay a lot of money to buy a turkey and here are a few ideas to take full advantage of your leftovers:
On the second day of Christmas, we had a lot of leftover turkey and leftover salads. My children prefer the breast so I chose other parts from the back, wings and thighs, which I finely cut like minced meat. I used part of this meat to make Koupes Pie and also made some Baby Potatoes with Greek Cheeses and Herbs.
I have made this Bulgur Pie many times in the past using the filling with minced pork, which I use for making Koupes. This time I did not have too much bulgur so I made a small Pyrex and topped it with grated cheese as well. The cheese are optional but it makes a wonderful crust on top.
Bulgur Pie with Turkey, recipe by Ivy
For the dough:
- 2 cups fine bulgur
- 2 cups turkey broth
- Salt, pepper, cinnamon
For the filling:
- 2 cups leftover roasted turkey, finely chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 roasted garlic, mashed
- 1 cup mixed herbs (parsley, dill, kafkalithres, myronia, green onions)
- Salt and freshly grated black pepper
- 1 tsp mixed spices
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup grated graviera
- ½ cup feta crumbed
- Add the carcass ingredients in a pot with water to cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Put the bulgar, salt, pepper, cinnamon and boiling broth in a pot and mix with a spoon.
- Cover with cling film and set aside until it cools. When it cools, mix the bulgur dough with your hand and you will see that it binds together but does not become a dough which can be rolled out.
- Meantime, sauté the onion until translucent and add the garlic, mix and add the turkey finely chopped pieces.
- Add the seasoning and finally mix in the herbs. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Brush a small Pyrex or baking tin with olive oil and add half of the bulgur dough and press it with your fingers.
- Add the filling in the middle and the remaining bulgur on top. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and finally add the grated cheeses on top.
Preheat oven to 180o C / 350o F and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheeses melt and it becomes golden on top.
- It can be served hot or cold as a side dish.
The second recipe is delicious and if you’re looking for a change from plain baked potatoes, try these tender and buttery cheesy potatoes, with lovely flavour from seasoning and herbs.
Baby Potatoes with Greek Cheeses and Herbs, recipe by Ivy
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Boiling time : 20 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Yield: 6 Servings
To make Roux:
2 tbsp turkey drippings
2 tbsp flour
1 cup turkey broth
¼ cup milk
20 small baby baking potatoes, boiled in salted water
2 tbsp margarine or butter
¼ cup olive oil
2 spring onions, finely chopped
4 baked garlic cloves, mashed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper pepper
½ cup grated graviera
½ cup crumbled feta
½ cup parsley
Boil carcass of leftover turkey with enough water to cover it and set aside.
Boil potatoes in salted water until soft. Try them with a fork and as soon as they can be pricked, remove them from the heat and drain. As soon as they can be handled, cut them in the middle.
Heat the turkey drippings and mix with flour to make a roux. Add turkey broth mix and add the milk. Mix until creamy and set aside.
In a non stick frying pan heat the butter or margarine with olive oil and saute the green onions and garlic until translucent. Add the potatoes and mix. Add the seasoning and cheeses and mix.
Finally add half of the white sauce and mix until the sauce thickens.
Add parsley and mix.
Serve while still hot.
Note: Leftover sauce can be used to serve with turkey but as there is enough sauce in the potatoes, store it in the refrigerator as it will be used in my next recipe
Other Relevant recipes:
Turkey Pie Roulade
Turkey & Leek Pie (substitute chicken with turkey)
Turkey Fajitas (substitute chicken with turkey breasts)
Kotopita (substitue chicken with turkey breasts)
Turkey or Pork Roulade
Kotopoulo (chicken or turkey) Trahanas Soup
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,