3 Delicious Recipes for Smoked Turkey Leftovers

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Smoked turkey might be even better the day after. Photographs: Vicky Wasik, unless otherwise noted

So, you made a smoked turkey. And it was pretty damn moist and aromatic, woodsy, meaty, and smoky-sweet. But now you've got leftovers that need some jazzing up.

We feel you; we made a sizable dent in our Greenberg Smoked Turkey*—a great ready-made option—but there's only so much straight turkey you can eat in week. Here are three Southern-inspired recipe to shake up the rest of that bird.

Smoked Turkey Collard Greens

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Smoked turkey may not be as fatty or rich as bacon, but it does share that trademark campfire flavor. Which is why we thought it would be the perfect partner for an otherwise traditional bowl of braised collard greens. If you're feeling especially ambitious, you can braise the greens in a homemade smoked turkey stock; otherwise, store-bought chicken stock (or even water) will do just fine. It's a low-maintenance dish that's almost impossible to mess up. This rendition also happens to be nice and garlicky, spiced up with red chili flakes, and finished with a bite of acidity from cider vinegar and lemon juice. And, since the turkey's pretty lean, we opted to finish it off with some butter to give the pleasantly bitter, tender greens the rich, mouth-coating quality that pork belly typically provides.

Get the recipe for Smoked Turkey Collards »

Smoked Turkey Red Beans and Rice

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Photograph: Max Falkowitz

In Louisiana, red beans and rice is traditionally cooked on Mondays to use up bits and pieces from Sunday's roast. And it's simple stuff: cook beans with meat and aromatics, ladle over rice, eat. That meat may be leftover pork bones, smoked or pickled pork, andouille sausage, ham, or tasso (highly seasoned cured pork shoulder). Call us ignorant Yankees if you like, but we think smoked turkey works pretty well, too, and cooking it into beans is the best way to get the most from your bird.

Sweat the Louisiana trinity of onions, green bell peppers, and celery in some oil, then add soaked kidney beans, chicken or turkey stock, and some bay leaves, fresh thyme, and cayenne pepper. Then stir in some chopped-up turkey and slap the lid on your pot. In a few hours you'll have a smoky pot of beans to keep you fed for days. Don't have a smoked turkey carcass on hand? A smoked drumstick from the supermarket works just as well.

Get the recipe for Smoked Turkey Red Beans and Rice »

Smoked Turkey Barbecue Sandwiches

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Carolina-style barbecue means pork, but smoked turkey is a winning stand-in when dressed in a punchy vinegar- and chili-based sauce. Sandwiched in a chewy-sweet potato roll with a creamy layer of coleslaw, it makes a well-balanced and simple substitute for the Southern classic.

Get the recipe for Smoked Turkey Barbecue Sandwiches »

Niki Achitoff-Gray and Max Falkowitz

Disclosure: Greenberg turkey was provided as a review sample.

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