Turkey Leftovers – Six Ways

The last week of the year leaves many families with a lot of leftovers, which have to be consumed to avoid spoilage and a food backlog in the fridge, in preparation for the New Year festivities.  Meat, such as from roasted turkey, is a frequent example, and when sandwiches and wraps will simply not do anymore, a little more gumption is needed to find ways to use up the cooked, shredded meat.  While reviewing my 2022 posts, I found six fantastic recipes, all very popular and traditional in Mexico, which fit the bill (click on titles for full stories and detailed recipes, and on highlighted text for printable recipes):

Oaxaca Style Tamales 

Originally posted on January 30, 2022.

Printable recipe:  Oaxaca Style Tamales.

Printable instructions:  How to prepare frozen banana leaves. 

In Mexico, in coastal and southern states, from Yucatan, Chiapas and Tabasco, to Veracruz, Oaxaca and Guerrero, there are many traditional recipes for tamales using banana leaves, although in Mexico City, many people call them all generically “tamales oaxaqueños” (tamales from Oaxaca).  Conversely, there are many kinds of tamales in the state of Oaxaca alone, and the best known nationwide are these, flat and square, filled with chicken (or turkey) and red mole or black mole.

Chicken (or Turkey) Soup with Vegetables – Caldo de pollo (o pavo) con Verduras

Originally posted on February 5, 2022.

Printable recipe:  Chicken Soup with Vegetables.

Chicken soup with vegetables is the kind of dish that almost everybody enjoys as a staple in the family menu rotation.   Old-fashioned techniques call for whole pieces of chicken and large chunks of vegetables cooked together in a pot, served directly into large bowls; more contemporary recipes, like the one I am sharing below, deconstruct the process by pre-cooking, cleaning and shredding the meat (so it may alternatively be turkey leftovers), and prepping the vegetables in a more spoon-friendly fashion.

“Drowned” Tacos – Tacos ahogados

Originally posted on April 4, 2022.

Printable recipe: “Drowned” Potato Tacos – Tacos de papa ahogados.

In Mexican cuisine, the term ahogado (drowned, in English) refers to foodstuffs served immersed in a liquid, such as a salsa or a thick broth. These tacos are always prepared with corn tortillas and then fried until crispy, but different regional recipes call for specific fillings, toppings and “drowning” liquids.   In my original post, I used potatoes as the filling, but shredded chicken or turkey would be an equally delicious choice.

Puebla Style Chicken (or Turkey) Stew – Tinga de pollo (o pavo)

Originally posted on July 20, 2022.

Printable recipe:  Puebla Style Chicken Stew – Tinga de pollo.

One of my earliest posts featured Tinga Poblana, a shredded-beef dish emblematic of the Mexican state of Puebla.  A more contemporary version, perfect to use up chicken or turkey leftovers, has become as popular as the traditional.

Basket Tacos – Tacos de canasta 

Originally posted on August 21, 2022

Printable recipe:  Basket Tacos, de canasta.

These tacos originated in the small town of San Vicente Xiloxochitla, in the Mexican state of Tlaxcala.  The original version simply consisted of corn tortillas filled with potatoes or beans, layered with onions in a container, and drowsed with hot melted lard or boiling oil; the tacos were wrapped to keep them hot and allow them to get steamed; for this reason, these tacos are also called tacos sudados – “sweaty” tacos.  Later on, the iconic pork cracklings in guajillo was added as a filling.  I must confess the latter as my weakness, but nowadays, many other variations include fillings such as adobo (potatoes or meat in spicy sauce), cochinita pibil eggs and cactus, and of course, shredded chicken or turkey.

Layered Tortilla Casserole – Pastel Azteca

Originally posted on December 21, 2022

Printable recipe: Layered Tortilla Casserole  – Pastel Azteca

The name “pastel azteca”  translates as “Aztec cake”, also known as “budín azteca” – “Aztec pudding” a curious choice that might be catering to international audiences, since it is definitely a creation of modern Mexico, not ancient Aztec (Mexica) times, from the use of ingredients such as cheese, and being cooked in an oven.  The dish is sometimes compared to lasagne, because it consists of layers of meat, cheese and vegetables, only that instead of strips of pasta, they are separated by corn tortillas.  There are many regional combinations of ingredients and sauces; one of the most traditional versions has shredded chicken (or turkey), huitlacoche (corn smut) and green sauce.  My recipe is based on this version, as I shared just a few days ago, but using readily available mushrooms instead of corn smut.

Leftovers do not have to be boring, and certainly must not go to waste!

I am bringing my recipe to Full Plate Thursday #621 with Miz Helen @ Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

I am sharing my post at Thursday Favourite Things #572, with Bev @ Eclectic Red BarnPam @ An Artful MomKatherine @ Katherine’s CornerAmber @ Follow the Yellow Brick HomeTheresa @ Shoestring Elegance and Linda @ Crafts a la Mode.

I am joining Fiesta Friday #465 with Angie @ Fiesta Friday.

I am sharing my recipe at What’s for Dinner? Sunday Link-Up #400 with Helen @ The Lazy Gastronome


5 thoughts on “Turkey Leftovers – Six Ways

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s