So what did you do with your turkey?

This year especially, since it was just the two of us for dinner, Thanksgiving was all about the leftovers.  Ironically my bird turned out better than it usually does for guests--maybe it was that I just had less distractions during the roasting--or that we didn't try to cram a lot of extra side dishes into the schedule.

Nicely summarized by this article, I do love the process of planning for a weeks' worth of meals from one smallish bird. Its a cross between feeling obligated and feeling challenged, in a time of year seemingly full of wastefulness, to make the most of what I have.   Instead of shopping, part of our "black Friday" was spent making stock out of the picked-over carcass. 

So besides a few lazy days of classic turkey sandwiches, we had:
  • Turkey pot pie, with biscuits on top.  Somehow with all fresh homegrown herbs and veggies (leeks, carrots, broccoli, celery, parsley) in November, not even all from the hoophouse!
  • Creamed turkey on leftover biscuits (yes, I'm on a biscuit kick lately...the lazy person's bread)
  • Turkey hash:  potatoes, leeks, kale, turkey, and leftover gravy, mixed together and browned in a skillet.  
And tonight, another tradition, turkey mole enchiladas.

My mole recipe comes from my sister, whose husband's family is from Mexico.  I'm sure it's dummed-down a bit from a more authentic version, but we like it, and it's simple enough for a weeknight:

Mole Poblano sauce:

6 or so dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
4-6 cups turkey or chicken broth
several cloves of garlic
1 small onion, chopped

In a saucepan, simmer the chiles, garlic, and onion with a dash of salt in the broth for fifteen minutes to a half-hour, or until everything is soft.  Let cool slightly, and puree (I use an immersion blender, but you could also use a food processor or blender, just be careful of flying hot liquids in all cases).

Once liquified, add the following to taste:

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
a few tablespoons:  brown sugar (or honey, etc)
1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder
salt and pepper

Return to a boil and simmer until reduced to a desired consistency.  In this batch, I used one quart of stock and was pretty thick right after blending.  It also mellows nicely if you make it the night before.


So after six days, we are calling the bird done, and best of all, I have another meals' worth of meat in the freezer, and 3 quarts of stock canned! 

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