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 pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.
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, molé, 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.
Wild Rice Salad with Roast Turkey, Pomegranates & Walnuts
Makes 4 to 6 servings
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