Turkey Leftovers...

Recipe Tabs

I don't know about you, but I seem to be completely incapable of EVER judging what size turkey to buy so that I don't have a massive amount of it left after our traditionally Irish Christmas dinner. This year was no exception, the 14 pound bird was indeed too much, so I was left with about 5 pounds of cooked turkey! Now there's only so much cold turkey you can eat and after two days, one may need to get quite inventive.  Here's what I did with my leftovers of turkey today.
This recipe will make a lovely filling for , or for your favourite wheat wrap nicely warmed. It tastes fantastic as a filling for which is what I intent to do with mine or tacos. So don't dump the leftover turney after a couple of days, cook most of it like this instead and then freeze it in portions so you can use it when you need it.
The main ingredient for the sauce is a fabulously good Mexican dried chili called Cascabel, which literally means ‘rattle’; they are little, round, dried chilies slightly smaller than a golf ball. They are of a deep ruby colour and full of small loose seeds which, if shaken, make a funny rattling noise (and that's their name explained). They are of a slightly bitter flavour and quite mild in heat, but like most dried chilies, one must be careful handling them. Use gloves if this makes you feel more comfortable, otherwise make sure to wash your hands well once you’re finished. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Clean & de-seed the dried Cascabel chilies by pulling the chili’s stem and taking out all the seeds inside; you can use your fingers or a spoon to do this. Don’t worry if the chili breaks, just keep all the bits of flesh. Again, make sure to wash your hands well after doing this otherwise you might find them burning a little.


Put the cleaned chilies in a small pot and cover them with plenty of water. Turn the heat on and bring the chilies to a boil. Lower the heat slightly and let them bubble for about 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the chilies rest in the water for a further 10 minutes. This soaking after cooking will make the chili skin very smooth and velvety.


Drained the chilies and put them in the blender or food processor, add the garlic cloves, the pepper, cumin, oregano, salt and half the water and blend them into a very smooth sauce. The rest of the water will be used in the next step.


Heat the oil in a deep, non-stick pan. Pour the chili & spicy sauce onto the oil and use the rest of the water to rinse and blender or food processor of any leftover sauce. All this water goes into the pan too. Cook the now runny sauce at gentle heat for about 3 minutes, or until it starts to thicken; at this point, add the turkey and mix well. Cook everything for about ten minutes or until the turkey has absorbed the sauce and it has now turned a ruby colour. Take it off the heat and let it rest for a few hours before using to allow the meat to soak all the flavours of the chili & spice sauce.


There you have it, one of the best ways to use up your leftover turkey. Very tasty, mild in heat and super versatile to use afterwards. It's my family's favourite way to eat turkey!