Neil Davey, contributor, MSN Food
26/12/2011 18:35 | By Neil Davey, contributor, MSN Food

How to use up your Christmas leftovers

You've had turkey and Christmas pud on Christmas Day. And Boxing Day. To get your leftovers beyond that without serious family eye-rolling, you’re going to have to try one of these recipes…

Rachel Green's turkey and stilton pies (© Rachel Green)

We've all done it. There's something about Christmas that brings out the hoarder in us all. We know we're only feeding one or two or five or whatever for, probably, just a day or two. Yet somehow we've bought enough food to open a new supermarket.

These days, with all that belt tightening, we're loathe to throw anything away but we're equally loathe to eat turkey sandwiches for a week. So how can you make those leftovers more appealing? Well, we've turned to the professionals.

TV chef Rachel Green suggests bringing in the pastry, either homemade or a pack of ready-made puff pastry, and making a pie. Turkey and stilton is a winning combination and ingredients you've possibly got an excess of.

Rachel Green's turkey and creamy stilton pies

50g butter
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
400g leftover turkey, brown and white meat (cut into chunks)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves only)
1 tbsp of brandy
100ml turkey or chicken stock
150ml double cream
120g stilton cheese, crumbled
375g pack ready-rolled puff pastry
1 egg beaten
Sea salt and black pepper

Serves: 4


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
  2. Heat the butter and rapeseed oil in a large frying pan, add the onion mushrooms and cook over a low heat for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Stir in the cooked turkey, garlic and thyme and cook for a further 3 minutes. Pour over the brandy and allow to bubble for 1 minute, then add the stock and cream and warm through gently. Remove from the heat and stir in the stilton. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Divide the turkey mixture between four individual pie dishes.
  4. Unroll the pastry and cut into four pastry lids (slightly larger than the individual pie dishes). Then wet the rim of the dishes with water. Lay the pastry circles over the top and press to the rim firmly. Make a small slit with a knife to allow the steam to escape. Brush with beaten egg and place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until golden.

More recipes to help you use up your leftovers:

Lucy Cufflin's turkey rilettes
Tom Cook's winter broth
Vivek Singh's South Indian style turkey curry
Lucy Cufflin's chocolate brownies
Thomasina Mier's turkey tacos

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26/12/2011 13:40
It's amazing, we are not allowed to comment on the killing of Christians in Christmas Day, but something as dull as 'what to do with leftover turkey' is allowed.
26/12/2011 23:14
@ Mark Mullany

You are spot on about most women not knowing how to cook. 
Our grandmothers knew how to, but then most things didn't come in tins, packets or jars and certainly not from Iceland and shoved into a microwave like they do now. I remember well how my grandmother would bake and cook the most healthy, balanced and nutritious of meals and didn't rely on food processors or gadgets. Times have changed and now mothers buy pizzas from Iceland for their kids to shove down their throats and that's a dinner?. No wonder we have so many obese and unhealthy kids. As you say, most young women know about X Factor, Big Brother, Strictly Come Dancing and make up and cosmetics but are so clueless when it comes to baking, cooking and preparing a meal that it's embarrassing and all the cooking programmes on TV are simply entertainment for it's beyond many women.  For home cooking egg and chips is the limit of many women.
So what to do with the turkey left overs? Prepare a curry sauce (not out of a jar or tin) and pour it over left over turkey, allow it to marinate  ............. I will leave it there I think for even this is beyond most women.

26/12/2011 14:37
MSN has of late resorted to downplaying real news, news of concern, serious news and news that affects us all and up staging irrelevant and gutter trash news like X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and all the wannabe and celeb culture unimportant news and most of it is unworthy of comment. Then again, it has also up played everything about Christmas and news about whether shops should open on Christmas Day etc. Who cares?
26/12/2011 23:05
It's amazing, we are not allowed to comment on the killing of Christians on Christmas Day, but something as dull as 'what to do with leftover turkey' is allowed.

I agree why are we not allowed to comment on all news

Come on MSN stop your censorship we are only venting our feelings

26/12/2011 17:23
My wife hasn't got a clue about cooking or baking and like many women think that a square meal comes out of a packet, tin, bottle or is frozen. As long as it can be microwaved.
To her a A McDonalds, pizza, kebab or a Chinese is a gourmet meal and cordon bleu could be the name of a racehorse. She knows a lot about Strictly Come Dancing, Big Brother and X Factor and is a self assumed expert on make up.
About 90% of women of the age group 20-35 fall into this category and asking them what to do with left over turkey is liking asking the average person about brain surgery.
26/12/2011 20:02
Best thing to do with left over Turkey is either give it to the dog or chuck it in the bin. Oh and remember to buy a smaller bird next year. Wink
Do what I do. Go to Tesco on xmas eve afternoon, and buy a turkey, reduced to half price. get a medium turkey, for 4 to 6 people. Enjoy it xmas day and in the buffet on boxing day. You should have less than a plate full left. Give this to the dogs in small portions, so as not to upset their stomachs. Eveyone is now happy
07/02/2012 19:24
No I dont know how to cook as well as my Mum or grandma.  Thats because I worked until I was sixty two and because I don't eat offal or much meat at all.  The fact that my husband is a chef also figures.  You don't keep a dog and bark yourself
26/12/2011 19:57
And the funeral directors say, that Boxing Day is their busiest, because so many people, having over eaten the day before, die during the night!
26/12/2011 21:01
The 12 days of Christmas turkey poem gives some good ideas about what to do with the leftovers, as well as a chuckle.
Oh, and don't mention killing christians. ( whatever that means)
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