I cooked a 12 pound turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. I knew it was going to be so much more bird than two people would ever eat but that is half the reason we cook big turkeys isn’t it? The leftovers are sometimes even better than the original meal! After the original dinner we had a couple of nights of Thanksgiving redux and then I took the meat off of the bones and used the carcass to make turkey stock. I split the meat up into mixed bags of dark and light meat and popped them in the freezer for a night I might want a stir fry or casserole.
Last night was one of those nights. I pulled out one of the bags to make what I’ve called Holiday Risotto. I’ve added in the flavors of the season in what turned out to be a really delicious meal. I’ll be making this one again with another of those bags I have in the freezer. It was easy and it put a smile on both of our faces.
Serves 4 – 6
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 1/2 quarts chicken or turkey stock
1 cup white wine
2 cups leftover turkey cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp dried sage
salt and pepper
Bring the stock to a simmer and keep it warm
Heat a heavy bottomed saute pan over medium high heat. When it is hot add the olive oil.
Add the garlic and swirl in the oil until it begins to get fragrant.
Add the arborio rice and stir in the hot oil until all of the grains are coated.
Add the white wine and stir until all of the liquid is absorbed.
Add 2 – 3 ladles of stock to the rice and stir until it is absorbed. Keep doing this – stirring constantly – until you have about a cup of stock left in the pot. Turn the heat off under the stock.
Add the sage to the rice. Stir to mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This really was yummy. The dried cranberries are what pulled it all together and gave it that real holiday flavor. The sage was the other note that was so reminiscent of the meal we so enjoyed on Thanksgiving. I only used a little cheese to add a touch of tang – I didn’t want it to overwhelm the dish and it ended up being just right.
The pumpkin seeds added that little bit of crunch and slight nuttiness and balanced the tartness of the cranberries. All in all a wonderful way to use up leftover turkey.
More Risotto Recipes:
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- 1½ cups arborio rice
- 1½ quarts chicken or turkey stock
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups leftover turkey cut into bite sized pieces
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1 TBS butter (optional)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp dried sage
- salt and pepper
- Bring the stock to a simmer and keep it warm
- Heat a heavy bottomed saute pan over medium high heat. When it is hot add the olive oil.
- Add the garlic and swirl in the oil until it begins to get fragrant.
- Add the arborio rice and stir in the hot oil until all of the grains are coated.
- Add the white wine and stir until all of the liquid is absorbed.
- Add 2 - 3 ladles of stock to the rice and stir until it is absorbed. Keep doing this - stirring constantly - until you have about a cup of stock left in the pot. Turn the heat off under the stock.
- Add the sage to the rice. Stir to mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the turkey and cheese to the rice with about half of the remaining stock. Stir until the liquid is absorbed.
- Add the cranberries to the rice. Stir to mix in well.
- Remove from the heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining stock and the butter. Stir to melt the butter.
- To serve: place in a bowl and sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds