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Using Turkey Leftovers

Turkey leftovers

This is a festive post looking at the age-old problem of eating the turkey leftovers. Most families cooking turkey on Christmas Day, are left with extra turkey. Ideally the meat should not be thrown away. Experts reckon that Britons throw away 30% of the nation’s overall annual food waste during December. Here are some ideas, rather than recipes, for using turkey leftovers.

Leftover turkey

 Potted history

A Yorkshireman, in 1526, acquired 6 birds from American Indian traders on his travels and introduced the species to Britain. Before turkey people ate geese, pork, chicken and beef during the festive period. Edward VII popularised turkey consumption during Edwardian era, although it was a still a luxury meat. Turkey became an affordable common tradition from the 1950s onwards.

The numbers

We eat around 10m turkeys over Christmas.

What to do with the leftover turkey?

Here are ideas when searching for recipes.

  1. Use leftover sausages and make a toad in the hole (Yorkshire pudding).
  2. Make a fruity salad with the turkey leftovers. Add to the lettuce, clementine segments, pomegranate, and dried cranberries to give a festive touch.
  3. Pimp up a sandwich using a baguette packed with spiced turkey meat and a garlicky lime mayonnaise. 
  4. Take burger buns and create pulled turkey meat, with coleslaw, gherkins, and BBQ sauce.
  5. Make a deep-filled turkey, leek, and ham pie, using shop-bought pastry to keep it simple.

 Reusing your leftovers

Always follow safe cooking hygiene. The Food Standards Agency says that hot turkey leftovers must be put in a fridge or freezer within 1-2 hours. Splitting leftovers into smaller portions will cool food quicker and help portion control. You can freeze cooked turkey and meals made from cooked and frozen meat. Once defrosted, you should eat the food within 24 hours.

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Date: 27 December 2021 by max robinson