What to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers

creamyricecasserole.jpg

I bought two turkeys this year. Total cost? $12.35.

With whole turkeys at 49 cents per pound a week before Thanksgiving, it seemed wrong to not stock up on the meat. I nestled that second turkey in the freezer when I got home, and just took it out a few days ago.

Naturally, lots of recipes with turkey meat followed. If you have leftover turkey meat that you are just now thinking about using, these recipes may come in handy. Or use chicken — even rotisserie chicken — in any of these dishes instead.

Creamy Wild Rice Casserole

2 ½ cups chicken broth, or water

1 cup wild rice, or brown rice

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt

Pepper

2 tablespoons flour

¼ cup milk or half-and-half, plus more if needed

Pinch nutmeg

Pinch cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

1 cup cooked turkey or chicken, chopped

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Bring broth or water to a boil in a small saucepan, then add rice. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until rice is done. Fluff rice with a fork, remove from heat and set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add onion and cook for 5 minutes, until onion is softer and starting to become translucent. Add carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in garlic and season well with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle flour on top of mixture and stir with a fork or whisk to incorporate. If mixture seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil. Add milk to skillet, stirring with fork or whisk to fully integrate liquid into the flour and veggies. Add nutmeg and cayenne pepper and stir.

Turn heat up slightly and bring mixture to a low boil. Add sage and thyme. Stir. The mixture should start to thicken. Keep stirring until you have a creamy sauce.

Add rice to the skillet and stir well. Then add turkey and cheese and cook until cheese has melted and veggies are soft when pierced with a fork.

You can stop here, or you can transfer to a casserole dish, top mixture with panko bread crumbs and broil for a few minutes until bread crumbs are nice and browned. Serve.

Serves 4.

Source: Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times