Turkey versatility, microwave's heat make Thanksgiving leftovers a tasty treat

November 28, 1991|By Copley News Service hHC jB

And it must follow, as the night the day, that there shall be leftovers after Thanksgiving. It was ever thus. But since the advent of the microwave, the theme song of leftovering is, "Turkey's better, the second time around."

Delicate turkey meat tends to dry out with conventional methods, but the microwave's moist heat is perfect for reheating, and there is the added convenience of reheating on a serving plate or in the refrigerator container, reducing after-meal cleanup.

When storing turkey leftovers, remember that all stuffing must be removed and stored separately. Meat should be removed from the carcass and refrigerated within two hours to prevent possible food poisoning. Wrap leftovers in heavy-duty plastic bags or foil and refrigerate (no longer than four days) or freeze (up to one month). Gravy and stuffing should be used within about two days.

Cooked turkey is very versatile: Chop and add to casseroles, slice into sandwiches, or julienne slice and toss with a green salad. And remember that cooked turkey can be used in virtually all recipes calling for cooked chicken.

Recipes in this column are tested in 625- to 700-watt microwave ovens.

Turkey-tomato soup

Makes 4 servings.

2 slices bacon, chopped

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup diced cooked turkey

1/4 cup chopped, seeded green pepper

1 (8-ounce) can stewed, diced tomatoes, undrained

2 (12-ounce) cans vegetable juice cocktail

1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1 cube chicken bouillon, crushed or 1 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Cooking time: 9 to 13 minutes. Oven setting: HIGH (100 percent power).

Microwave bacon in 2-quart microwave-safe casserole for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once. Remove bacon and set aside.

Add onion and garlic to drippings; microwave 1 to 2 minutes, stirring once, until onion is tender and translucent. Add all other ingredients and microwave 6 to 8 minutes or until heated through, stirring twice.

Serve immediately.

Turkey tetrazzini

Makes 4 servings.

1/4 cup margarine or butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cube chicken bouillon, crushed or 1 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon

1/8 teaspoon pepper

-- cayenne pepper

1/2 cup hot water

1 1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream

3 cups spaghetti, cooked and drained

2 cups diced cooked turkey

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon dried

2 tablespoons white wine

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan


Cooking time: 14 1/2 to 20 minutes (plus time to cook spaghetti). Oven setting: HIGH (100 percent power); MEDIUM-HIGH (70 percent power).

Place margarine in 2-quart microwave-safe casserole and microwave on HIGH until melted, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Blend in flour, bouillon, pepper and cayenne. Gradually blend in water and cream.

Microwave at MEDIUM-HIGH until thickened, 6 to 9 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.

Stir in spaghetti, turkey, mushrooms, basil, parsley and wine. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and dust with paprika. Microwave at MEDIUM-HIGH until heated through, 8 to 10 minutes. Rotate 1/2 turn after half the cooking time.

Turkey-rice casserole

Makes 4 to 6 servings

2 cups cooked turkey, cut in 1-inch cubes

1 (10 3/4 -ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup

1 cup milk

1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained

2/3 cup quick-cooking rice

1 envelope onion soup mix

1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 tablespoon chopped pimiento (optional)

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Cooking time: 14 to 15 minutes (plus 10 minutes standing time). Oven setting: HIGH (100 percent power).

Combine all ingredients, except cheese, in 1 1/2 -quart microwave-safe casserole. Microwave 14 to 15 minutes, stirring twice during cooking time. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand 10 minutes to melt cheese; serve immediately.

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