Saturday, November 25, 2006

Talking Turkey About Leftovers:

Are you moving just a little slow today? Are you weighed down with enough turkey, stuffing, gravy and pie to sink the Titanic? Most people love leftovers, but the problem is that after just a day or so, the turkey gets dry and the stuffing sodden. The initial joy of leftovers quickly turns to a sort of hung-over holiday horror! Not to mention that there are very few ways to creatively recycle Thanksgiving menu items. Most of us are reduced to filling the plate and sliding it into the microwave for a two-minute zap. Gobble, gobble.

My favorite "post-Thanksgiving" recipe makes great use of leftover turkey, is simple to prepare and serves up a feast of Thanksgiving flavors in one snappy dish that offers a light alternative to last Thursday's banquet. Turkey and Cranberry Couscous is adapted from "Stylish One Dish Dinners" by Linda West Eckhardt and Katherine West DeFoyd, and it's been my Turkey Day follow-up recipe for more than 5 years. I use the following:

  • Two cups chicken stock
  • 10 ounces Spinach Couscous (made by Rice Select)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Two ribs of celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups roasted turkey diced
  • Three scallions, sliced into rounds
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple cored and chopped


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons grainy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Generous grinding of black pepper
  • Kosher salt to taste

Bring the chicken stock to a boil, and add the spinach couscous and cranberries. Turn off heat, cover and let sit. Assemble the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a covered container and shake. When the couscous is ready, fluff and add the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle with the dressing and toss. It all takes about 10 minutes.

The apple, celery and pecan give a nice, fresh crunch and the spinach couscous adds a beautiful emerald color to the whole dish. The cranberries are tangy and the dressing is light and refreshing. It all gives one good reason to give thanks for leftovers!

© 2006 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Giada and Alton Brown both did shows on using up all those Thanksgiving leftovers. Good ideas on both episodes, but I was too lazy to try them today. :)

Ari (Baking and Books)