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Turkey: Beak to Tail Feather

Submitted by on November 22, 2012 – 8:36 amNo Comment

Talk about the most sustainable meal of the year! What chef does not use the Thanksgiving bird from beak to tail feather? With all the gravy juices swirling around in sauce pan, chefs get their creative power fired up for the best use of the gobbler the day after Turkey Day.

Here, some top chefs who are represented by PR firm simoneink provide great new ideas for your table.

Cory Bahr, Executive Chef and Proprietor, Restaurant Cotton – Monroe, Louisiana:
“Being a Louisiana boy, I can’t go without mentioning my beloved leftover Turkey and Black-eyed Pea Gumbo. When in a quick fix, I open the fridge and make a Ham-Jam Sandwich… what’s a Ham-Jam Sandwich you ask? Easy, one slice Ham, and two slices White Bread…jammed together! And since it’s the weekend and all, there’s no harm in tapping into the “leftover” bourbon – for medicinal purposes only!”

Haley Bittermann, Executive Chef, Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group – New Orleans, Louisiana:
“I love Thanksgiving, not because of the dinner, but because it’s the one time of the year I can make Turkey Gumbo. I combine the moist turkey meat and spicy Andouille sausage to make a flavorful gumbo. The key to its robust flavor is the stock from the turkey bones. Don’t tell the restaurants, but it’s the best gumbo I’ll make all year.”

Ralph Brennan, President, Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group – New Orleans, LA “I have to stay true to New Orleans—and I make Turkey Po’Boys. Sliced turkey, gravy, a little mayo, and lots of cranberry sauce, all piled high on French bread that’s been toasted ever so slightly. The turkey always tastes better the next day.”

Regan Browell, Executive Chef, The Willcox – Aiken, South Carolina:
“I’m a kiwi [New Zealander] and we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving – that’s not to say I won’t eat leftovers from all my friend’s kitchens! I can not live without that stuffing!”

Chris Clime, Chef de Cuisine, PassionFish – Reston, Virginia:

“My trick is reheating stuffing by frying. I slice the turkey really thin, and reheat it in the gravy. Then I take the cold stuffing and form them into thin patties, and fry them with a little turkey skin until they’re crispy. Take all of the components, and assemble them on French bread along with big dollops of cranberry chutney and Coleman’s Mustard Aioli. Reserve extra gravy close enough for dipping.”

Andrew Evans, Owner and Executive Chef, The BBQ Joint – Easton, Maryland:
“Melted cheese makes everything better so my go-to is the one and only Turkey Melt. Take some grilled rye, creamy brie, sweet cranberry relish and a little moist stuffing and you’ve got yourself the best day-after goodness in town.”

Brett Gauthier, Executive Pastry Chef – Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group – New Orleans, Louisiana:
“Thanksgiving dinner is over at my mom’s house, and like many New Orleans mamas, there is always an abundance of left-overs to pack up and take home. In my case, those leftovers are sausage and French bread stuffing. My favorite way to revitalize the sausage is by pan frying – give me that pop!”

David Guas, Owner and Chef, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery – Arlington, Virginia:
“I’m a pastry chef at heart, so waking up to a big ‘ol slice of Pecan Pie for breakfast makes me feel like I am just continuing the meal from last night – but I add a French Press coffee to let me know its morning.”

Jeffrey Ferrel, Chef, Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel – Little Rock, Arkansas:
“Call me a traditionalist but nothing beats next day Turkey Sandwiches with cranberry jam and stuffing. It’s easy, fast, and sometimes better than the real feast! Why mess with a good thing? I think I appreciate Thanksgiving even more while digging into the leftovers.”

Chip Flanagan, Executive Chef, Ralph’s on the Park – New Orleans, Louisiana:

“Leftovers are relegated to what else . . . Turkey and Andouille Gumbo! A thin broth style gumbo made with fresh turkey stock from the leftover carcasses. I make gallons upon gallons of this, and after my friends and I lose most of our money at the Fairgrounds race track on the day after Thanksgiving, we head to my house and drown our sorrows in the gumbo.”

Chris Jakubiec, Executive Chef, Plume at The Jefferson – Washington, D.C.:
“Thanksgiving may be all-American, but the next day it calls for a Mexican fiesta with Turkey Burritos! I cannot get enough of Mexican cuisine, and the family goes along with it. Anything can go in a burrito, but you have to have the right combination. Corn and onions are all you need to make it Turkey Day all over again. Buen provecho!”

Austin Kirzner, Executive Chef, Red Fish Grill – New Orleans, Louisiana:
“Between spending thanksgiving with both my and my wife’s side of the family, we roll up to our house with more leftovers than you can imagine! My go-to is to pull out a big, old pot and make Turkey Gumbo. It makes for a hearty holiday meal for the rest of the entire weekend – eat, nap, repeat.”

Steven Marsella, Executive Chef, Heritage Grill – New Orleans, Louisiana:
“People often forget the beauty and simplicity of a Turkey Pot Pie. Biting into the flaky crust filled with turkey and vegetable leftovers is how I dine on Friday and Saturday. But this time the meal has to be peppier – as in hot! – I like lots of hot sauce, and for me, there’s only one – Crystal.”

Chris Montero, Executive Chef, café b – New Orleans, Louisiana:
“In my house, it all becomes about the amazing Turkey Gumbo collaboration with my wife. Everyone in the family lays claim to their share of this precious Thanksgiving leftover tradition in advance of the holiday itself.”

Brant Tesky, Chef de Cuisine, Acadiana – Washington, D.C.:
“The turkey on Thanksgiving day is a beautiful presentation, but when the family is finished with it all the glamor is gone. The key to bringing it back to its glory is being creative with its tasty morsels. Grind up the turkey, and pan sauté it with diced potatoes and veggies to make a turkey hash in the morning. Serve that with runny poached eggs, and little gravy on top, and it’s a breakfast that’s tough to have only once a year.”

Jeff Tunks, Owner and Chef, Passion Food Hospitality [Acadiana, Burger, Tap & Shake, Ceiba, DC Coast, District Commons, Fuego Cocina y Tequileria, PassionFish] – Washington, D.C. area:
“‘Grandma’s Carcass Soup’ – that says it all. Take your extra turkey meat, simmer it in chicken stock, add diced mirepoix [combo of celery, carrots, and onions,] fresh herbs, and then finish it off with cooked rice. The recipe is hers, but not the Thanksgiving turkey, so keep that to yourself.”

Robert Wiedmaier, Owner and Chef, Marcel’s, Brasserie Beck, Mussel Bar & Grille, Wildwood Kitchen- Washington, D.C. area:
“At our table it is all about celebrating fowl, so we serve the gambit. Turkey, duck, goose, and whatever else was in range on the field. Leftover turkey meat and leftover duck meat, ground with onion, garlic, paprika, chili powder, kidney beans, stewed tomatoes, and chicken stock. All I can smell is the aroma of chili. Let it all simmer together in a crock pot and keep on the stove all day, as there is no need for the formality of another sit-down meal.”

Tucker Yoder, Executive Chef, The Clifton Inn – Charlottesville, Virginia:
“In our neck of the woods, the snow has touched the ground and hearty dishes become staples on my family table. And it is hard to not be inspired by the customs of our forefathers. Thick soups and pot pies come to mind. For some Southern goodness, cover the soups with homemade biscuits and bake them – that’ll make you wonder why this meal is only served once a year.”

(Photo by David Lat)

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