This Thanksgiving, Love Your Leftovers
Thanksgiving really is the best holiday. What other holiday can you legitimately repeat for days? You get to loosen your belt with ultimately no shame the day of. Then you get to do it again with all the same foods the very. Next. Day. It’s like Groundhog’s Day… but with turkey. #TurkeyhogDay!
Let’s get down to business: reheating leftovers is an art. Done right, you’ve brought a meal back to life that tastes just as good (sometimes even better!) as the first time. Done wrong? Well, at least the dog won’t mind… right?
As we stated in our last leftovers blog post, as a rule of thumb, reheat your leftovers as closely to their original cooking method as possible. As a second rule of thumb (we have two — might as well use them), only reheat what you’re going to eat. Reheating the same food repeatedly can compromise the integrity of the leftover, and let’s be real: Thanksgiving leftovers are sacred.
Let’s break down a few traditional Turkey Day tastes to help you Frankenstein your second helpings back to a glorious, satisfying life.
Turkey is infamous for its tendency to turn out dry, but keeping that bird just as brilliant as your first forkful isn’t so hard.
Kick up your oven to 325º – 450ºF. While it’s preheating, slice as much you want to eat or serve (smaller pieces reheat more evenly and quicker). Then, give that bird a bath in a shallow pan of chicken stock, turkey stock, or good old H20, and cook it until the pieces reach at least 165ºF.
Want an all-in-one leftover? Try Southern Living’s suggestion of cooking your turkey slices on the stove in a pot of simmering gravy.
You can’t really ruin mashed potatoes, can you? Of course you can! So if you’re hankering to return to those deliciously creamy hillocks of bliss, then warm up your stirring arm.
However many helpings you want to heat up, heave them into a dish that can handle heat. Whether you use the stovetop or microwave, you’ll want to reheat them slowly at medium heat, stirring occasionally so they’re evenly cooked. Finally, dollop some butter, sour cream, and seasonings in your mixture to return your mashed potatoes to their former glory.
Did you know stuffing was named as such because it has a lot of different stuff in it? True story. (Editor: No it’s not.) And because of all those various ingredients, reheating all those elements back perfection might seem tricky. Good news: It’s not.
Spoon some chicken stock, turkey stock, gravy, or butter over your selected amount of stuffing to keep it perfectly moist. Then simply slide that savory side into an oven that’s been preheated to at least 325ºF and wait about 10 minutes.
Yes, we covered pie in our last piece on leftovers. But like we said before: Pie. Is. Amazing. And it warrants a second helping. Always.
You can eat your leftover slice cold with a dollop of whipped cream and (probably) walk away satisfied. But it’s easy to achieve a transcendent leftover pie experience, so why settle? Simply heat your oven to about 200 degrees, then warm you pie for a solid 20 minutes. You’re ready to dig in when it’s warm throughout.
That’s all there is to it! So after battling the crowds during Black Friday, there’s nothing better than coming home to the comfort and majesty of a full-on second Thanksgiving. And hey, if you aren’t feeling a full-on turkey dinner, try this awesome sandwich recipe instead:
Happy early Thanksgiving from Omaha Steaks!