Moving Through the Thanksgiving Leftovers

We purchased a huge bird for Thanksgiving, in order to ensure that there would be plenty of leftovers for the rest of the holiday weekend.  And leftovers there were…lots of them.

After four days of turkey sandwiches, I decided I needed a change in my diet.  I don’t like to waste anything, so I was determined to use every piece of Tom the Turkey.  Normally, I would just make a big batch of chili with my leftovers, but I had made chili prior to our family’s arrival, so we’d been eating our fair share of chili too.

Now that it’s cold outside, though, the idea of a hearty soup or stew sounds yummy to me.  So I went through my mental cookbook and decided to make Brunswick stew.  This dish always reminds me of winters during my childhood.  Who would think that lima beans could be yummy in a soup?  Well let me tell you; they are.

brunswick stew 1

I made up this recipe, based on what I remember my mom’s Brunswick stew to taste and look like.  I was afraid that my stew would be overwhelmed by the turkey (as I was already weary of eating any more bird), but the other veggies and spices made a nice mix.  I really liked the combination of cayenne pepper and Worcestershire, but added the brown sugar to balance out the heat.  Don’t worry too much about the specific size bag or box of frozen corn and lima beans.  Just use whatever the store has.  This is one of those stews that I was just throwing in whatever I happened to have in my kitchen.  (Same goes for the tomatoes.)

brunswick stew 3

Brunswick Stew (Makes 8-10 servings)

  • 3 cups (or as much as you’ve got) leftover turkey, chopped into small pieces (you can use cooked chicken as well)
  • 4 cups GF chicken broth (I use Pacific brand)
  • Chopped bacon or pancetta (this is totally optional but I had leftover pancetta that I wanted to use…a great addition!)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 16 ounce bag frozen corn
  • 1 16 ounce bag frozen lima beans
  • 1 16 ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 1 16 ounce can stewed tomatoes
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Salt & Pepper

Heat olive oil in dutch oven on medium heat.  Add bacon and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add chopped onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken broth, tomatoes and potatoes.  Bring to a slow boil.  Let simmer for 20 minutes.  Add cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, lima beans, corn and turkey.  Stir, bring to a simmer and cook for another 30 minutes.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  You can’t really overcook this soup so I found that making it a day ahead, and then reheating, made the stew even better and the turkey more tender.  This dish  is a great use for your dark turkey meat too.

brunswick stew 2

Makes a perfect week night dinner, served with GF cornbread or biscuits.  Or top stew with leftover gluten-free stuffing.  This dish freezes well so I will be enjoying my Brunswick stew throughout the winter months.

What do you like to do with your leftovers?

  1. Michelle says:

    YUM! That sounds amazing. I feel warmer just looking at it!

  2. Alden says:

    Betsy! Where’s the squirrel? Even without, this looks wonderful…

  1. There are no trackbacks for this post yet.

Leave a Reply