A couple of days after Thanksgiving, when you’re ready to think about cooking again, repurpose the meal by making this quick chowder, which is redolent of all the wonderful flavors of that day. A crunchy Brussels sprout slaw is an ideal accompaniment.
This is an ideal use for leftovers from the Thanksgiving meal, or of course you can make it any time of the year.
4 to 6 servings
4 ounces bacon, cut into ½-inch dice (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons butter, plus more if necessary
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
4 cups turkey broth or 2 (14½-ounce) cans chicken broth (see note)
1½ pounds all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced (about 4 ½ cups)
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning mix
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
½ teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
3 cups shredded or diced left-over turkey meat
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups diced cooked vegetables such as carrots, peas, green beans or Brussels sprouts (see note)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Cook bacon in a large soup pot over medium-low heat until crisp and the fat is rendered, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove cooked bits with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and reserve. You should have 2 tablespoons of fat; if too much, pour some off, or if too little, make up the difference with butter.
Add butter to the pot and cook the onion and celery over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add broth, potatoes, poultry seasoning, sage and salt, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add turkey, half-and-half and vegetables and simmer gently over low heat for 3 minutes to blend flavors. (Do not boil.) Stir in reserved bacon and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately or set aside at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Reheat if necessary over very low heat so the chowder does not curdle, ladle into bowls, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Note: If you have the turkey carcass, break it up somewhat, place in a large pot, cover with water, add an onion, a celery stalk and 1 teaspoon salt, and simmer uncovered for about an hour. Strain and use as the broth in this recipe. The rest of the turkey broth can be frozen for another use. If you don’t have leftover vegetables, add frozen or fresh vegetables when you add the potatoes.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS SLAW
Brussels sprouts are, after all, tiny cabbages, and when thinly sliced, the green outer leaves and yellow hearts make a lovely, delicate slaw that is wonderful with almost any chowder. This one is enlivened with the rich, salty tang of grated pecorino Romano cheese.
One-quarter of a small red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ pound Brussels sprouts, as large as possible
½ cup grated pecorino cheese
Soak onion in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes to rid it of some of its bite. Drain on paper towels.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar and mustard. Whisk in the oil and season with salt and pepper.
Remove any bruised outside leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Holding each sprout by the root end, thinly slice with a sharp knife or slice on a mandolin. Discard root ends.
Toss in a bowl with the onion, gently separating the sprout leaves from one another if necessary. (Can be done up to four hours ahead.)
When ready to serve, toss sprouts mixture with the dressing, sprinkle with the cheese and toss again.
Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “Lobster!” (Storey, 2012). She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula, and can be contacted via Facebook at: facebook.com/brookedojny