Cajun/Creole

Turn Turkey Into Spicy, Smoky Jambalaya, Win the Leftovers Game

Thanksgiving leftovers never tasted so good.

November 23, 2018

As Food52 gets older (and wiser), and our archive of recipes grows, we’re making the effort to revisit some good-as-gold recipes. Today, check out a new spicy way to use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey.


After Thanksgiving Day, I most definitely enjoy a plate or two of reheated turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Next, I transition to sandwiches, stuffing leftover rolls with meat, greens, and cranberry sauce. But as much as I love these classic Thanksgiving leftovers, I also love variety. There’s only so many turkey sandwiches a person can stomach.

Resolved to try something new, I’m turning to another recipe to repurpose my turkey this year—community member aargersi’s spicy, smoky jambalaya.

Inspired by her love for New Orleans cuisine, aargersi developed a dish that captured the city’s unique flavor. “I was looking for that New Orleans Umami (I just made that up but I feel like it’s a thing!)—deeply rich, flavorful, spicy, but not too spicy,” she says.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“My mother always made Asian-style noodle soup with the leftover turkey meat and carcass. Fresh egg noodles and/or Thai rice noodles (the kind used for pho, called banh pho) topped with shredded turkey, fresh herbs, and the aromatic broth made from the bones are so comforting on a colder days/nights. Not to mention you have re-purposed leftovers into something totally different.”
— HalfPint
Comment

Despite its strong spices, the turkey shines in this dish. When Amanda and Merrill first tried it back in 2009, they raved about the combination:

"It would never have occurred to us to put turkey in jambalaya, which seems so focused on pork, but it's a terrific idea. Turkey's gaminess compliments the andouille and holds its own against the cajun spices. Aargersi also includes smoked paprika, a smart touch."

While the ingredients list includes quite a few Louisiana staples, substitutes work just fine. Amanda and Merrill made do with Uncle Ben's rice, Anchor Steam beer, and their own Cajun seasoning. Because no matter how you make it, this jambalaya will be a fresh way to gobble up those Thanksgiving leftovers.

What's your favorite way to eat up Thanksgiving leftovers? Share recipe ideas in the comments below!

2 Comments

HalfPint November 30, 2018
My mother always made Asian-style noodle soup with the leftover turkey meat and carcass. Fresh egg noodles and/or Thai rice noodles (the kind used for pho, called banh pho) topped with shredded turkey, fresh herbs, and the aromatic broth made from the bones are so comforting on a colder days/nights. Not to mention you have re-purposed leftovers into something totally different.
 
Author Comment
Katie M. November 30, 2018
That sounds so delicious! Soup is perfect for this time of year—thank you for sharing, HalfPint!