LEFTOVERS ARE THE BEST PART: 5 Turkey Leftover Hacks

Leftover thanksgiving dinner turkey sandwich

Whether late night, first thing in the morning or lunch the next day– leftovers are often considered a highlight of any turkey dinner. Most of us are familiar with hot turkey sandwiches or turkey noodle soup, but we are in a new culinary age… In a modern kitchen, anything goes (yep, even with leftovers)! Read on for D’Arcy’s top five leftover hacks and feel free to share yours with us in-store or on social media.

1. THANKSGIVING-ON-A-BUN

Best made with a hearty, day old roll– this leftover hack also goes great on Texas toast, crusty bread, bagels or even in wraps and pitas. Use cranberry sauce or gravy as a condiment (or both!) and add cold or warmed up turkey. Now, get crazy. Add all your favourite sides: salad, veggies, mashed potatoes, stuffing or dressing and anything else that accompanies your traditional turkey dinner. Don’t overload it, but each bite should give you feeling of digging into a plate at Thanksgiving.

2. TURKEY CHILI OR GUMBO

A bold, zesty alternative to turkey soup, chili or gumbo is a great way to make use of leftover turkey meat. Simmer up your preferred recipe and simply add the turkey picked from the bones and any leftovers that would go well– peas and carrots for example. Try kicking up the spice intensity for a new level of flavour.

3. CROQUETTE À LA LEFTOVERS

A croquette or patty can easily be formed out of leftover mashed potatoes. Stuff these pockets of potato with your favourite turkey dinner leftovers. Turkey meat, cranberry sauce, veggies– even gravy or stuffing! Cover off with additional potato mixture and fry gently in a deep pan. Remove when both sides achieve a golden brown finish and serve warm.

4. BONE BROTH

If any recipe calls for broth, ensure you boil your turkey bones and leftover veggie scraps into your very own flavourful stock. This leftover hack takes longer than most, but it keeps well and only gets better with time. Short of making soup, a hot cup of turkey stock can be a warming and invigorating treat (especially after a rigorous workout, when you’re sick or on a bitterly cold day).

5. CRANBERRY SAUCE MUFFIN

Add a fruity tartness to your stand-by muffin recipe with a cup of turkey’s old pal: cranberry sauce! Not only does cranberry sauce add a new flavour, it also moistens baked goods naturally. Thanks to this, you can skimp on the butter and still have a delicious, moist muffin or other treat.

There you have it, D’Arcy’s top five ways to hack your turkey dinner leftovers. Enjoy the classics but don’t get stuck in a routine– the above recipes and many more can make you the hero of your household next time you roast a bird. The only limit is your imagination… and your tastebuds! Visit or contact our friendly staff at D’Arcy’s today and we will help get the ideas flowing.

PARTY FOWLS: Dos and Don’ts for Cooking the Perfect Turkey

cooking roast turkey in the oven

From major holidays to Sunday dinners, a beautifully done turkey is often the most sought-after centerpiece. While preparing and cooking a turkey of any size can seem like a big endeavor, a careful cook can take precautions so they are not frustrated or overwhelmed. So don’t be a birdbrain– just follow these simple guidelines and your guests will gobble up your next turkey dinner.

DO THAW YOUR BIRD

Most commercially available turkeys are frozen, so it is important to totally thaw them out before cooking. Thawing should be done in the fridge and can take up to several days, depending on size. You can avoid this preparation time by purchasing a fresh turkey.

DON’T “GUESS-TIMATE”

So you know how many people are coming to dinner, you can just eye up a bird at the store– right? Wrong! In order to prevent underserving or excessive leftovers, choose your turkey based on weight per person. A good baseline is 1 lb or 0.5 kg of turkey (precooked) per person and increase portions if you want leftovers.

DO CLEAN AND SEASON

For best results, clean your turkey thoroughly– removing giblets and the neck (they can be saved for stock or pets), rinsing it and patting it dry. After this step, season the inside and outside of the turkey with your preferred spices or salt and pepper at the very least.

DON’T BE CONSERVATIVE

Turkeys are extremely versatile. Feel free to experiment with different brines, dressings, seasonings and other preparations. All of these affect flavour and texture, often adding moisture or fat to the meat. If your bird is stuffed, make sure that you increase cook time as needed.

DO USE A STURDY FOUNDATION

Learn to appreciate the art of trussing a bird and invest in a reliable, good-sized roasting pan. Ensure your turkey has room to breathe and isn’t cramped or squished, otherwise it could impact how evenly it cooks. When choosing a pan, try placing the turkey into the pan backside and breast-side up as you will need to do both to achieve a golden brown finish.

DON’T UNDERCOOK OR OVERCOOK

When your oven is up to temperature, tent foil over the turkey in your roasting pan of choice– slide it in and stay near the kitchen. Periodically baste or brush your turkey with olive oil or butter, as well as the juices that drip off of the bird. Roast your turkey for approximately 20 minutes per pound. Remove the foil and flip the turkey to brown the breast over the final hour– it’s done when juices run clear and a thermometer in the thick of the thigh reads 180ºF (82ºC). Take the turkey out of the pan and let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

For every family and every cook, there’s a favourite or preferred way of preparing a turkey. From spatchcocked to deep-fried– there’s unlimited variations on the classic roasted bird. D’Arcy’s tips above are just the start! Consult with our friendly staff to add something special to your next turkey.

NO BONES ABOUT IT: The Advantages of Making Stock at Home

For many of us, a warm bowl of homemade soup is the ultimate comfort food. Still, there’s a huge gap between soup available in cans and soup made from scratch. The same goes for the foundation of every great soup (and many other dishes): stock.

Chicken or beef stock, also known as broth, is common in grocery stores but it is actually more flavourful and nutritious when made at home. It might sound like a lot of work, but read on to learn just how easy it can be– and you might just save a buck or two in the process.

AU NATUREL

Stock is produced by simmering chicken, beef, pork, etc. carcasses in liquid over an extended period of time. The heat, liquid and added salt draw the flavour and nutrition out of the remaining bones and tissue. Most commercially available stocks or broths contain several preservatives and an excess of salt. When you make your own stock at home, you control what goes into every part of the process. From the quality of the original meat down to the seasoning, the homemade process allows you to make your stock truly natural.

MORE BANG FOR YOUR CLUCK

If you have ever bought a whole or sectioned chicken and thrown away the bones after you’ve eaten: you may as well have thrown away money. All bones or carcasses should be saved and turned into stock, as it exponentially increases the value of the food that you purchased. $10 spent on a few servings of chicken is one thing, but turn the remaining bones into several cups of stock and that $10 has just gone a lot further.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Don’t be fooled by complex recipes, a simple stock is packed with nutrition and flavour that is simply not available from most commercial brands. Stock can be prepared on the stovetop over the course of a few hours of gentle simmering. Slowcookers or crock pots are also ideal candidates for making your own stock. Homemade stock is a long, but easy process of steeping bones, tissue and a few simple ingredients in liquid– it does all the work for you, no elbow grease required!

To recap: making your own stock is easy, healthy and it saves you money. What else do you need to hear? Set aside some freezer space and store your leftover bones and carcasses; once that fills up, it’s time to make stock. Next thing you know, you’ll be filling that freezer up with your rich, flavourful, homemade ingredient ready to go for the next soup, stew, risotto, or anything that requires stock or broth.

 

Come in and chat with our experts at D’Arcy’s for any advice in making your own stock. We can offer guidance and recipes– and bones can be sold in volume by request. Whether you are a sophmore simmerer or a seasoned seasoner, we can help take your homemade stock to the next level.

TASTE THE DIFFERENCE: BENEFITS OF LOCAL, HORMONE-FREE, ANTIBIOTIC-FREE CHICKEN

One thing is for sure: people are hungry for change, not just food at good prices. We don’t only see meat on our dinner plates anymore– demand for livestock to be cared for humanely is increasing across the board. Chicken, the staple of all staples, is no exception. Poultry production has changed a great deal over the last decade, expanding to accommodate evolving perspectives and tastes. D’Arcy’s is a leader in this field by being a champion and retailer of local, hormone-free, antibiotic-free chicken.

 

IN YOUR BACKYARD

D’Arcy’s chicken is locally sourced from nearby poultry farms. This means we know our farmers and they know us. We have a real relationship with the people that tend the chickens that we sell and we aim to keep it that way. Local means supporting a member of your community. Local means less greenhouses gases created by large-scale shipping. Local means you are making a statement on where you want your food to come from and how you want it to be handled.

 

JUST SAY NO

Performance enhancing drugs are banned from all sports and pastimes, so why would we want them anywhere near our food? D’Arcy’s only sells hormone-free chicken. Chickens raised without hormones age and grow naturally, instead of bloated for more meat and a quicker trip to your table. Support a more biologically appropriate and humane method of poultry production by choosing hormone-free meat exclusively.

 

SUPERDRUGS MAKE SUPERBUGS

Another feature of mass-produced chicken is the use of antibiotics. While these drugs prevent disease, they are usually used only because disease is prevalent in overcrowded, massive poultry production facilities. Many of these diseases can be better avoided by allowing more space and freedom for the chickens. Moreover, overuse of antibiotics has created “superbugs” that could ravage poultry populations. The only way to slow or reverse this is by making the consumer choice to support antibiotic-free chicken like ours at D’Arcy’s.

 

Whether you’re shopping for boneless breasts to shred for Taco Tuesday or a whole bird for Sunday dinner, consider D’Arcy’s local, hormone-free, antibiotic-free chicken for you and your family. It’s the humane and healthy choice for chickens and humans alike. If you have any questions about our chicken or other local products, please don’t hesitate to contact us!