Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Turkey Tetrazzini, or What To Do With Leftover Thanksgiving Day Turkey!

I've had years of practice now at using up the turkey that remains after our Thanksgiving Day feast  - the second Monday in October in Canada - and the dishes I make have become almost as much a tradition as the main dinner itself: Day 1 is turkey sandwiches; Day 2, when the pretty slices are gone and I'm left with odd shaped pieces of mainly white meat, is Turkey Tetrazzini, a comforting pasta dish that's also a great vehicle for leftover steamed or roasted vegetables (cubed squash, and broccoli are particularly good) and the half glass of white wine left in the bottle.
This year, I decided to try Giada de Laurentiis's recipe for Chicken Tetrazzini from her book Giada's Family Dinners. Flavoured with sautéed mushrooms, onions, and garlic, sauced with a white sauce (béchamel) that included stock, and baked with a crisp Parmesan cheese crust, it was one of the best versions of the dish I've ever made.
Perfect with a green salad on the side. I'm ready now for Day 3 leftovers....soup!

I made some adjustments to the recipe, partly based on what I had, and partly by choice since the recipe looked a little too rich and saucy for me. Even with my modifications, the recipe still served 6. This is what I used:

- 350g cooked, cubed turkey breast for the chicken
- 1 tbsp butter to cook 227g mushrooms, 1 small onion and 3 cloves garlic; 1-1/2 tsp fresh thyme; 60ml white wine
- for the sauce (a half recipe), 1-1/2 tbsp butter, 2-1/2 tbsp flour, 480ml 1% milk, 240ml turkey stock, pinch nutmeg, salt & pepper to taste
- 375g whole wheat fusilli; 125ml green peas; 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- for the topping (full recipe), panko crumbs in place of Italian breadcrumbs; 100g Parmesan cheese

The recipe is available online here but note that the book version does not include the butter topping.

I'm sharing this post with Cook-Your-Books hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours. Please visit and take a look at all of the wonderful dishes prepared this month.


  1. Hi Zosia,
    Using leftover turkey for this pasta meal is a great idea. It looks delicious! And the crispy topping with Parmesan looks really yummy!
    Thanks for sharing with CYB!
    Hope you enjoyed your soup!

    1. Thanks, Joyce. Using up leftovers is always a challenge for me so I'm happy when I find something family likes. (The soup was a hit too!)


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