Don’t toss that stuffing! As a public service to those of you bewildered by Thanksgiving leftovers, we’ve tracked down some of the best chefs in America and asked them to share their favorite recipes for using up excess holiday grub. The four chefs below turn their leftovers into unique stuffing meatloaf, turkey hash with mashed potato pancakes and more.
Thanksgiving Leftovers Cassoulet
By Brian Howard, corporate executive chef at Comme Ça at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Chef’s Notes: I’ve never been a fan of leftovers—ever—but this is the one time of the year that I make an exception.
Serves 4 to 6
1 lb. pulled dark turkey meat or turducken
½ lb. pulled turkey, white meat
2 cups glazed ham
¼ cup chopped pancetta or bacon
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 onion, chopped
1 cup white wine
2 cups leftover glazed carrots or sweet potatoes
2 ribs celery, chopped
5 sage leaves, chopped
1 large can of cannellini beans (or replace with leftover green beans, cut in half)
1 large plum tomato, chopped
2 cup chicken stock
2 cups stuffing
1 cup turkey gravy
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a Dutch oven to medium-low heat. Add the olive oil.
2. Sweat the garlic, onion and pancetta for 2 minutes, until opaque and tender. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add the turducken, turkey, ham, carrots, beans and tomatoes.
4. Deglaze with white wine and let reduce by half.
5. Add the chicken stock, turkey gravy and chopped sage.
6. Cook on a low simmer for about 15 minutes, until the liquid has been reduced by half and the Cassoulet has thickened up nicely.
7. Top with the leftover stuffing.
8. Bake at 375 degrees F until golden brown. Serve.
By Philippe Bertineau, executive chef of Benoit restaurant in New York City
2 lbs. stuffing
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 lbs. ground beef
½ cup parsley, minced
½ cup onion, chopped
1 cup ketchup
1 tbsp. cracked black pepper
½ tbsp. salt
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 orange, sliced in ¼" slices with rind
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except orange slices. Mix until evenly distributed.
3. Press the mixture into a 9” x 5” loaf pan.
4. Cover the mixture with a row of orange slices.
5. Bake the loaf for 45 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes.
7. Cut the loaf into thick slices and serve along a green salad.
Thanksgiving Leftover Hash with Mashed Potato Pancakes
By Evan Funke, chef and co-owner of Bucato restaurant in Los Angeles
Chef’s Notes: No one wants to cook the day after the marathon of cooking that is Thanksgiving. This is an easy recipe for brunch to make use of that turkey, stuffing and greens. In this recipe, leg and thigh meat are ideal because they tend to hold onto more moisture the next day.
2 cups shredded turkey (leg and thigh meat is ideal)
1 cup stuffing
1 cup braised or sautéed greens (spinach, kale, collards, etc.)
2 cups mashed potatoes
¼ cup chicken or turkey stock
1 brown onion, sliced
1 cup mushrooms (black trumpet, chanterelle, even button), sliced
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
1. Grab a handful of mash and form it into a ball with your hands. Gently press each ball of potato into a pancake shape. Set it aside on a sheet of parchment or wax paper.
2. In an 8-inch or larger non-stick skillet, melt 2 tbsp. of butter. Brown it lightly over medium/high heat.
3. Gently place each pancake into the pan. Cook each side until golden brown and crispy, about 4 minutes.
4. Remove and set aside in a warm place.
1. Chop or shred all of your leftover ingredients (turkey, stuffing and greens) into a uniform size to ensure even cooking.
2. In a large sauté pan, melt 2 tbsp. of butter. Brown it lightly over medium heat.
3. Add the sliced onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring intermittently, until golden, about 7 minutes.
4. Increase the heat to high, wait 90 seconds and add the mushrooms. Toss or stir gently.
5. Caramelize the mushrooms and onions over high heat until they reach a rich golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Add the chopped leftovers and ¼ cup of chicken or turkey stock.
7. Cook the mixture over high heat until the stock reduces to dry and the hash begins to caramelize, about 4 minutes. Stir or toss frequently.
Sunny Side Eggs
1. In a separate non-stick skillet, melt the remaining 1tbsp. of butter.
2. Crack each egg into the pan and cook slowly over medium/low heat.
3. Spoon the excess melted butter over the egg until the white is creamy and the yolk is hot, about 2 to 3 minutes.
1. Place the still-warm potato pancake in the center of a plate.
2. Spoon the crispy hash over the pancake, stacking it tall.
3. Gently remove the sunny side egg from the pan with a spatula and place it atop the hash.
4. Add cracked black pepper and a kiss of sea salt on the yolk.
5. Serve immediately.
Thanksgiving Leftover Pasta
By Sebastien Archambault, executive chef of The Back Room at One57 in New York City
1 cup turkey, white meat
1 cup turkey, dark meat
1 cup stuffing
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 lbs. flour
1 ½ lbs. eggs
1 tsp. water
1. Grind white meat, dark meat and stuffing. Set aside.
2. Cook the tomatoes for 15 to 20 minutes to evaporate the water. Set aside.
3. Coat a saucepan in a light layer of olive oil.
4. Add the turkey, stuffing, onion, garlic and tomatoes to the saucepan. Heat over low heat then remove from stovetop.
5. When the stuffing mixture cools, place a thin layer of it on top of rolled dough (recipe below). Then add another layer of dough on top of the stuffing mixture. Seal the edges of the dough with water, as if you are making ravioli.
6. With a dough cutter, cut desired pasta into desired shapes.
7. Boil pasta. Serve with sauce (recipe below) with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
1. Mix flour, water and eggs. Cover with plastic wrap.
2. Let rest for 2 hours.
3. Roll flat with a rolling pin or pasta sheeter.
Combine leftover gravy with turkey stock and grated Parmesan to taste.
Alyson Sheppard is the resident hangover specialist at Playboy.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amshep