Most of our extended family lives 4 to 5 hours by car from us, back in South Dakota and North Dakota. Those hours on the road have often been hindrance enough for us to stay home, just us four, for Thanksgiving. Sometimes trips back to the Dakotas were cancelled due to bad weather. Other times it was because kids fell sick. But for whatever reason, we’ve never set a Thanksgiving table for more than our family of four.
Well, all that’s going to change this year, as we have family coming to stay with us for a few days over the holiday. I’ve started piecing together a menu, picking up a few bottles of wine on sale, and strategizing the seating in our small dining room. We’ll be quite cozy. And I’m so looking forward to it!
Blake has smoked a few turkeys over the past years in our Weber charcoal grill, and is now visualizing his first smoked Thanksgiving turkey from his new Big Green Egg. (Confession: I’ve never cooked a turkey in the oven. True!) Our family has come to greatly anticipate his smoked birds, but we’re especially looking forward to this year’s turkey gracing our enlarged celebratory table.
And I am awaiting those glorious smoked turkey leftovers. Ohhhhhh, what a little smoke can do to that poultry!
There’s just nothing like a big pot of Creamy Turkey and Wild Rice Soup simmering on the stove. Or a bowl of Turkey and Wild Rice Curry Salad, full of light, bright, crunchy goodness. Yes, I do love me some wild rice. And both these dishes are fabulous using smoked turkey.
This year I came up with a new dish for our post-Thanksgiving enjoyment. Smoked Turkey Chowder with Mushrooms and Sweet Potatoes. It’s loaded with shredded smoked turkey leftovers, plus a whole bunch of veggies. Lightly creamy, with extra smokiness from a little kick of chipotle pepper, this chowder is just the perfect casual bowl of deliciousness after the holiday meal.
- 1 T. butter
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2'' pieces
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp. ground chipotle powder
- 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 8 c. reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 15-oz. can corn, drained
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed into 1/2'' pieces
- 2 c. half and half
- 2 T. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tsp. fresh chopped thyme
- 4 c. shredded smoked turkey
- salt and pepper, to taste
In a large heavy pot or stock pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add bacon and cook until bacon begins to brown. Add celery, onion, red pepper, mushrooms, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is transparent and completely softened. Sprinkle with chipotle powder and stir to coat evenly. Blend in flour and cook until it starts to bubble. Gradually add the broth, stirring constantly. Turn up the heat a bit and bring the soup to a low boil. Boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat slightly and add the corn, sweet potato, half and half, soy sauce, parsley, and thyme. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until sweet potato is tender. Add turkey and simmer for 20 minutes or until thoroughly warmed. Test flavor and add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with crackers or warm bread.
From a farmgirl's dabbles.
I’m linking up with:
- Sheila at Eat 2 Gather for her Thanksgiving Roundup
Looking for even more leftover turkey yum? How about these?!
- Turkey a la King from Stephanie at fresh tart
- Turkey (substitute the chicken) Stew with Butternut Squash & Quinoa from Dara at Cookin’ Canuck
- Creamy Baked Turkey from Robyn at Add a Pinch
- Turkey Chili with Yams and Black Beans from Heather at Farmgirl Gourmet
- Turkey Stroganoff from Elise at Simply Recipes