Las Vegas Chefs Offer New Twists On Turkey Day Leftovers



What are you going to do with the leftover turkey?

Thanksgiving dinner is nearly as treasured for its leftovers as for the feast itself. In fact, wise professionals, as well as home chefs, cook with the goal of having lots of leftovers left over.

Whether it is stuffing waffles with turkey and cranberries or creating a Bolognese made from leftover turkey, Thanksgiving leftovers lend themselves to inspired twists. For help putting a fresh spin on Turkey Day dishes and extras, KNPR’s State of Nevada turned to three local chefs to see what they do with their leftovers.

Head chef at Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill  Scott Commings suggests before even getting to the leftovers people use a plastic cooking bag to roast the turkey. He said to get the golden brown color remove the bag towards the end of the roasting time. 

Commings also advises people use a thermometer to check the doneness of the bird and not to rely on the pop up indicator that is found lots of turkeys. He said a turkey is done at 160 to 165 degrees.

Chef of Made LV Daniel Boling said he tries to offer lighter side dishes like creative salad choices so dinner guests have a variety of foods to choose from instead of the usual heavy side dishes available on Thanksgiving.  

Chefs advise taking the turkey carcass and using it to make stock that can be frozen and used throughout the year. To make stock, remove the meat from the carcass and re-roast the bones. The bones then go in a pot with onions, garlic, celery, carrots, bay leaf and thyme. Pour just enough water to cover the bones and let it simmer, then strain the liquid.

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Commings suggests taking the leftover turkey meat to create a turkey pot pie with a simple pastry.  

(Editor's Note: This story originally ran in November 2014)

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Scott Commings, head chef at the Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill at Caesars Palace; Daniel Boling, executive chef Made LV; John Kujundzich, assistant executive chef at Red Rock Resort

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