It’s almost Thanksgiving, so here is another recipe transforming leftover turkey into a new dish. In the original recipe, the turkey flavor comes from turkey stock. We didn’t have any stock (nor any turkey bones to make it), so we used chicken stock and added leftover turkey meat for turkey flavor and a variance in texture in the creamy risotto. This isn’t exactly a quick dish (risotto requires a lot of stirring and patience), but it’s pretty easy to make with a few, simple ingredients: butter; a shallot; mushrooms; garlic; fresh sage; Arborio or other “risotto rice;” chicken stock; leftover turkey; pecorino cheese (Parmesan would also work) and salt & pepper. If you’re tired of turkey sandwiches (but not tired of spending some time in the kitchen), this dish is a richly decadent way to use your leftover turkey. And if you’ve got a lot leftover, here are some other recipe options: turkey barley soup, tex-mex turkey soup, turkey tetrazzini, king ranch, enchiladas, paella and stuffed shells. We hope you and yours have a very Happy Thanksgiving, with an abundance of good food, cheer and counted blessings!
Bring 3 cups chicken stock and 2 cups of water to a boil in a pot. Once the liquid boils, turn the heat down to a simmer and cover the pot so the stock will stay hot. You’ll be adding the hot stock to the risotto about 1 cup at a time while the rice cooks.
Chop up the mushrooms and a shallot.
Mince the garlic and finely chop the fresh sage.
Dice the leftover turkey.
Heat the butter in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat until it begins to brown.
Add the mushrooms and shallot with a dash of salt and cook until they begin to soften — about 3-4 minutes.
Add the garlic and sage and cook for about 30 seconds.
Add the rice and cook for another 1-2 minutes. We used Arborio rice, but any rice specifically labeled for use in risotto will work. These types of rice release a particular starch while they cook, which gives the finished risotto its creamy texture.
Add about a cup of the simmering stock to the rice and stir until the liquid evaporates. Lather, rinse and repeat. Continue adding stock (it doesn’t have to be exactly a cup — we used a big ladle and just added 1 ladle-full at a time), and stirring as the stock evaporates and the rice begins to soften. After about 20-25 minutes, taste the rice to see if it’s done — you want the rice to be a little firm, but not crunchy. Continue tasting and adding stock (and stirring!) until the rice is cooked through and has a creamy texture.
We ran out of simmering stock before the rice was done, so we just added some stock straight from the carton.
Add the cheese and turkey and cook the risotto until the cheese melts and the turkey is heated through — about 2-3 minutes.
Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve. The turkey helps to cut the richness of the cheese and rice a bit, and the mushrooms and sage add a nice, earthy flavor. If you have any extra risotto after dinner, try making crispy risotto cakes and top them with a fried egg for breakfast. If there is such a thing as a leftover looking glass, you’ve just passed through it.
Turkey Mushroom Risotto (w/ leftover turkey)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 package fresh mushrooms,chopped (about 1 ½ cups worth)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
- 1 ½ cups risotto rice (e.g., Arborio)
- 3 cups chicken stock (plus extra as needed)
- ½ cup pecorino cheese, grated
- salt & pepper
- Bring the stock and 2 cups of water to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer to keep the liquid hot.
- Heat the butter in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat until it begins to brown. Add the mushrooms and shallot with a dash of salt and cook until they begin to soften — about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and sage and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the rice and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add about a cup of simmering stock to the rice and stir constantly until the liquid evaporates. Continue adding stock to the rice, cup by cup, while stirring until the liquid evaporates. After about 20 minutes, taste the rice to determine whether it is done (firm but not crunchy.) Continue adding stock and stirring until the rice is barely tender and creamy.
- Add the cheese and turkey and cook until the cheese melts and the turkey is heated through — about 2-3 minutes. Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve.