If, like us, you roast a turkey for your family’s Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, you may already follow our after dinner tradition of simmering the turkey carcass to create a delicious broth and salvage some tender meat. While Jerri offers suggestions, I carve the last few pieces of meat from the bones and break the carcass into pieces. Then our roles are reversed, and I suggest how much meat should be included in each package that we will freeze for sandwiches or to make turkey a la king.
Eventually the turkey bones end up in the roaster with some water. We bring it to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer them for a couple of hours. When the broth has cooled to a warm room temperature, we remove the last bits of meat from the carcass and strain the broth.
The result is a quart or so of really flavorful broth and two or three cups of turkey meat. Since the meat has already given up some of its flavor to the broth, it is not the best meat from the turkey, but it works just fine for making turkey hash, particularly if you have some sliced turkey left over from the roast.
This recipe is another one from Jane Marsh Dieckmann’s Use it All: The Leftovers Cook Book, which Jerri’s niece Susie loaned to us. Turkey hash is easy to make, tastes good and helps make room in the freezer for other leftovers.
1 1/2 cups diced turkey or leftover turkey salvaged from the carcass
1 cup cooked diced potatoes
1/2 cup cooked chopped celery
1 T minced parsley
1 T finely chopped chives or a scallion
1 cup gravy or sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 T butter or olive oil
If you don’t have any leftover boiled potatoes, peel and chop one or two raw potatoes into a half-inch dice. Spread them in a pie plate, cover it with waxed paper and microwave on high until the potatoes are soft enough to pierce with a fork, about four or five minutes.
Clean and chop the celery into a quarter to half-inch dice and microwave it in a covered bowl until it is starting to soften, two or three minutes.
Clean and finely chop the parsley and chives or scallion and if necessary warm the gravy so it is liquid enough to mix with the other ingredients when you assemble the hash.
Make sure that the turkey is cut into pieces no larger than a half-inch dice and put it into a mixing bowl. Add the potatoes and celery along with the parsley, chives or scallion. Blend everything together, then stir in the gravy, salt and pepper.
Set a skillet or frying pan over moderate heat and coat it with the butter or oil. Transfer the hash to the skillet or frying pan. Stir to prevent burning, but allow the hash to crisp a little as it heats.
Serve hot and pass the ketchup.
NOTES: The first time I made this recipe, I used all the leftover gravy from our Christmas dinner. Nearly two cups of gravy produced a kind of stew. It wasn’t really hash, but it tasted fine and used up another leftover.
Since we don’t always have leftover gravy in the refrigerator or freezer, I make a satisfactory substitute with chicken bouillon. Dissolve a chicken bouillon cube in three quarters cup of hot water, season with dashes of sage and thyme and thicken with a tablespoon of corn starch dissolved in a quarter cup of cold water.