Leftover Turkey: Turkey Broccoli Tetrazzini

It’s so nice to have friends who remember you!  I’ve been getting phone calls lately for leftover ham bones and turkey carcasses with the pan juices…lucky me!

Made my own turkey stock from a fried turkey (or roasted? not sure) carcass that a friend saved for me.  The stock is rich and delicious, and very salty.  So, this is stock I need to remember (write on packaging!) to use sparingly and taste before salting.  Most of the stocks I make need some salt added to the final product- this one won’t.

No mushrooms in the house, but lots of broccoli we didn’t cook.  This is one of those dishes where those convenience of canned soups is often used, but, since I took the time to make turkey stock, going to do that.  It’s really pretty easy to make your own bechamel (also known as white gravy or sauce).  Really.

Round up the ingredients:

The meats:

  • about 1 cup leftover turkey meat, pulled from carcass after making stock
  • about 1 cup sliced smoked sausage -optional, if you have leftovers

The sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced shallot, leek, or onion
  • 6  tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups turkey stock (or 1 cup stock and 1 cup water)
  • 1 cup milk or 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • a grating of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

The vegetables:

  • lightly steamed or raw broccoli – it will cook with the rest of the casserole
  • going to add some edamame to this one, just to get in a little more greenery

To put it all together:

  • 2 cups uncooked pasta of your choice, cooked and drained (undercooked by a few minutes is best, as it will continue to cook in the oven)
  • 1 cup grated cheese of your choice – any mix of cheese is good, or just parmesan.  I prefer an Italian mix, maybe a Gouda or Edam because there so buttery.

To Assemble:

  1. Dice the cooked, leftover meats and vegetables and set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions and set aside.
  3. Grate the cheese(s), and set aside.
  4. To make the sauce, saute the minced onion (of your choice) in the olive oil over low heat until transparent (If you want to use mushrooms, this would be the time to cook them.  When the mushrooms are cooked, remove them from this pan and set aside; continue to make sauce in the same pan).  Add the butter to the pan, and let melt.  Do not let brown.  Add the flour, and mix well with a whisk.  Let the roux cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly with the whisk (to prevent lumping and browning).  Slowly add the stock, stirring constantly with the whisk.  Bring to a simmer, add the cream or milk and cook until thickened, about 6 to 10 minutes.  Do not let burn!  Add the seasonings (taste first for salt).  Add some of the cheese, if desired.
  5. Butter a casserole dish.
  6. Combine the dry ingredients in casserole dish.  Top with grated cheese.  Can be refrigerated or frozen until ready to cook.  If frozen, thaw overnight before baking.
  7. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for about 30 minutes, depending on depth of casserole dish, until bubbling at sides.
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Heating it up…

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Turkey Casserole with some homemade bread. Comfort food at it’s best.

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