In 90 Seconds: Thanksgiving 2017, by the numbers

How much turkey will you eat and money will you spend this Thanksgiving? Here are some predicted stats to reassure you that most Americans enjoy a big feast, Thanksgiving football and Black Friday shopping.
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How much turkey will you eat and money will you spend this Thanksgiving? Here are some predicted stats to reassure you that most Americans enjoy a big feast, Thanksgiving football and Black Friday shopping.

Food & Drink

What to do with Thanksgiving leftovers

By Adriene Rathbun

November 24, 2017 02:39 PM

Thanksgiving has come and gone quickly this year. All the hours of meal prep, cooking, baking and washing dishes are over. At least I hope your dishes are done. Hopefully my Thanksgiving wish for you all came true, too.

It’s on to the Christmas season. I have friends who live for Black Friday shopping. They get up at ungodly hours and shop till they drop all day. You could not pay me to partake in those crowds of deal-seeking people and chaotic scenarios. However, I do get a slight tinge of jealousy when these said friends tell me their holiday shopping is complete.

I’m clearly not in the shopping mode, yet. It’s always last on my list of holiday prep. Decorate first, host a zillion events at our house, figure out my Christmas menu and then shop. My first and most high priority is always food. So, what are you making with your turkey leftovers this year? I’ll be honest, since I didn’t host, I’m not lucky enough to have all that turkey leftover just staring at me waiting for the possibilities of delicious “make overs.” But since so many of you probably did, I wanted to give you some ideas of what to do with it. It can be a bit overwhelming just due to the volume of a turkey, so consider making more than one “make over.”

My husband’s favorite “make over” is turkey noodle soup. Count on me for turkey tetrazinni, turkey pot pie, turkey salad – the kind with mayo, celery, pecans, dried cherries or turkey paninis with smoked gouda and a smear of pesto. I love all the rich, comfort foods, especially when it’s cold outside.

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Quite a few years back I was making a meal to take to a friend and stumbled upon this excellent recipe for Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pies with Cream Cheese Crust on Epicurious. I’ve made it countless times, and there’s no reason you can’t substitute turkey for the chicken in the recipe. And if you don’t have leftover turkey, give yourself a bit of a break and grab a rotisserie chicken.

Also, just so you don’t have to run out and purchase 2-cup soufflé dishes, you can make this in an oval gratin. That’s how I made it the second time around, and unless you’re serving it for a party, it’s my preferred method. A little less fussing over the presentation and fewer dishes to wash. I’m sure we’re all good with that after all those Thanksgiving dishes.

Turkey and Vegetable Pot Pies with Cream Cheese Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature

1, 8-ounce package cream cheese, cut into pieces, room temperature

3 1/2 pounds cooked turkey, cut into bite sized pieces


3 tablespoons olive oil

2 red bell peppers, cut into strips

1 large onion, chopped

8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced

4 ounces green beans, boiled 1 minute, cut into 1-inch pieces

3/4 cup chopped green onions

1/2 cup drained oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups chicken stock

1 cup milk

1/4 cup whipping cream

4 1/2 teaspoons beef base

1 egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)

Mix flour and salt in food processor. Add butter and cream cheese; blend until moist clumps form. Shape dough into 6-inch long log. Wrap and chill while making filling.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add peppers and onion; cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Transfer to bowl with turkey. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; saute until just brown, about 4 minutes. Add to bowl with turkey; mix in next 4 ingredients.

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; whisk 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in 3 cups stock, then milk, cream and beef base; bring to a boil. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Stir 3 cups sauce into chicken mixture (reserving remaining sauce for another use).

Cut prepared dough crosswise into 6 equal pieces. Roll out pieces to 7-inch grounds on lightly floured surface. Divide filling among 2-cup soufflé dishes. Cover each dish with 1 dough round. Press overhang to side of dish to adhere. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush top of each dough round with egg glaze; cut 3 slits in each for steam to escape. Bake pies on a sheet pan until crust is golden brown and filling is heated through, about 45 minutes.