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Keep turkey tasty

Good morning! Happy Thanksgiving! By the time you have settled down to read this, the kitchen will have been cleared and you and your family already have enjoyed all those second helpings of turkey and pumpkin pie.

And, if you are like me, you purchased a big bird for the Thanksgiving feast. This means we have delicious opportunities with the leftovers.

Tomorrow is Black Friday and my sister Sandy and I will get a head start on our holiday shopping. The last thing I want to do after a long day of facing the crowds is stand in front of the stove and cook a lavish meal. I want to do something delicious with leftover turkey.

Through the years, I’ve given you recipes for turkey vegetable noodle soup, hot turkey sandwiches, turkey divan, turkey pot pie and turkey stir-fry. Like chicken, the native American bird adapts well to any number of dishes and sauces.

For the past four years, I have been having a terrific time baking from The Cake Mix Doctor and The Chocolate Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn. The author developed several hundred recipes on how to doctor cake mixes, which is great for those of us who feel baking from scratch is often too time-consuming. I’ve featured a number of her recipes in these columns.

Wouldn’t you know it — just in time for the holidays, Byrn has penned The Dinner Doctor: Quick Cooking When Time Is Short ($14.95, Workman Publishing, paperback). As soon as I received the book, I turned to the index to see if Byrn had any ideas of what to do with cooked turkey. She listed turkey hash and a salute to the Hot Brown, a famous sandwich created in 1923 at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Ky.

Since chicken and turkey and even pork, for that matter, are interchangeable in any number of recipes, I searched through the chicken selections in The Dinner Doctor and found a long list of one-pot meals that call for cooked chicken. All I have to do is substitute turkey for the chicken.

I also came across Byrn’s recipe for the classic tuna noodle casserole and realized 2 cups of cooked turkey could be used in place of a 6-ounce can of tuna. Try some leftover Thanksgiving turkey in your favorite tuna noodle casserole recipe. Round out any of these dishes with a tossed green salad and leftover pumpkin pie or pecan pie.

I recommend all of Byrn’s books for the cooks on your list this year. Here are recipes from The Dinner Doctor by Anne Byrn.

Curried Turkey and Artichoke Casserole


4 cups shredded cooked turkey
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained
1 (7-ounce) can mushroom pieces, drained
1 (10.75-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 cup pre-chopped pecans or slivered almonds


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the turkey, artichoke hearts, water chestnuts, mushrooms, chicken soup, sour cream, mayonnaise and curry powder in a large mixing bowl and stir well until blended. Transfer the mixture to a 13-by-9-inch (3-quart) glass or ceramic baking dish and scatter the nuts over the top.

Bake the casserole until it is bubbling throughout and the nuts are toasted, 32-35 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and serve at once, with rice.

Serves eight.

Note from Phyllis: Byrn’s recipe calls for chicken but since we are using turkey, you could substitute cream of mushroom soup or cream of celery soup for the cream of chicken soup. She calls for canned mushrooms but I would substitute 1/2 pound fresh sliced white button mushrooms. Just saut� them briefly in a bit of butter and olive oil before adding them to the mixture.

Turkey Hash in a Flash


2 tablespoons butter
Half of a 28-ounce bag of frozen diced potatoes with onions and bell peppers, such as Ore-Ida Potatoes O’Brien
2 cups finely chopped roast turkey
1-1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 clove garlic, crushed in a garlic press
Cayenne pepper or hot pepper sauce


Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the frozen potatoes and cook, stirring, until the onions brown slightly, two to three minutes. Add the turkey, chicken broth and garlic. Stir to combine, then season with salt and cayenne to taste. Let the hash simmer, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid is absorbed, 10-13 minutes.

Taste the hash and add more salt and cayenne as needed. Serve at once.

Serves six to eight.

The Hot Brown

2 large slices cooked breast of turkey
1 slice top-quality white bread, toasted
3 to 4 tablespoons of Alfredo sauce from a 28-ounce jar
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 slices plum tomato
3 slices crisp bacon

Place the turkey slices on a piece of toast. Top with Alfredo sauce and Parmesan cheese. Place the Hot Brown on an ovenproof plate and broil until the cheese sauce is bubbling. Right before serving, top the sandwich with tomato slices and bacon.

Makes one sandwich.

Note: You can make as many Hot Browns as you like. If you are making about four or so, place them in a shallow ovenproof casserole. Byrn says you can substitute refrigerated biscuits for the white toast. Just bake them and split them open. If you would like your Hot Brown hotter, Byrn suggests draining a 4.5-ounce can of chopped green chilies and folding them into the cheese sauce.

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