Thanksgiving Wraps Up in a Cast Iron Skillet

This was last year…

It is time to close the book on Thanksgiving 2012, but I’m not sure I want to rehash it yet.  Instead I’d rather make hash of what’s left.  So let’s start there.

Every Thanksgiving I try to get my hands on as much left over turkey as I can get, especially the bits and pieces that don’t slice well in a beautiful Norman Rockwell kind of a way.  Tonight I had one more small tub of leftover turkey in the fridge, mostly dark meat, the good stuff that hides deep within the bird, so I am ready to make my season ending hash.

Here’s what you need:  Turkey, potatoes, carrots, an onion, salt and a lot of pepper.  If you have left over stuffing, you’re in luck.  Use that, too.   If you don’t have the stuffing, it just might be worth making an extra batch…but then you’re not really using leftovers.  (I came up short this year.  No stuffing.)

My hash is simple, one-third turkey, two-thirds the rest.  And I like my root veggies to be two-thirds potatoes and one-third carrots.

Peel the potatoes you need “dirty style,” that is don’t peel all the skin.  Leave some on.  Unless the potatoes are huge, don’t cut.  Steer clear of red potatoes.  Not good.  Yukons or russets are where you want to go.

Cut your well-washed carrots (don’t peel).  Cut coins and sticks.  Vary the size.  Have fun.  Boil carrots and potatoes until you can split them with a fork.  I find that you can’t really overcook the potatoes.  In fact, while I can’t say for sure why, but well-done potatoes seem to take to the hash better.  (Anyone else?)

When it comes to onions I am kind of like myself:  Modest.  Don’t overdo it.  Cut in larger, forkable chunks.

Don’t judge…It tastes better than it looks! (I really need a camera.)

Now start shredding your left over turkey.  Don’t cut and cube it….that’s seems so Louis XIV.  This is a much more rustic dish.  Pinch and rip it up.  (You might need to cut bigger, tougher pieces down a little, but if you turkey looks like it should be at Denny’s salad bar:  Bad.)

Ideally you have fatty dark meat and maybe some left over stuffing to get going.  If you don’t, get some butter — or maybe margarine (butter seems to burn) — and toss it into a hot cast iron skillet.  Get things sizzling and some fat rendering.  Toss in your onions.  Let things melt together.

Then toss in your root veggies and stuffing (if you have it) and grab a coffee.  Stir everything for a minute to mix the grease and butter with your ingredients.  Salt and pepper get added now.  A lot of black pepper.  (You want a lot of black pepper.)  Sip coffee and let things sit and crisp up.  After a few minutes start flipping things to crisp up another side of your mix.  And just keep doing this until you decide you can wait no longer and need to eat.

That’s it.

You can add other ingredients and seasonings…but in my experience, with the exception of leftover stuffing, it only ruins stuff.  Sage is a popular suggestion.  Is that necessary?  I don’t think so.  And why do people feel the need to put diced celery in late-season hash?  `I don’t understand.  What more do you need than turkey, potatoes, carrots, onion, and some salt and pepper?  Keep is simple.  You can always fry some bacon and eggs and have your hash as a side.   I like to garnish mine with buttered — yes, buttered…embrace butter — whole wheat toast topped with berry jam.  (See photo.)

Julia Child embraces butter and cream. You should, too!

The best way to eat this stuff, however, is out of the refrigerator.  Yes, your recooked leftovers make excellent leftovers.

That’s it.  The Thanksgiving wrap up.  I’m not quite ready to review the holiday itself.  It is becoming too busy for me.  (Next year I think I’ll make my hash in a remote cabin somewhere.)

Check back later.  I am ready to be my old self again.

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One thought on “Thanksgiving Wraps Up in a Cast Iron Skillet

  1. Pingback: Turkey Hash | familyrecipebooks

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