I know this sounds boring, but my absolute favorite way to eat leftover turkey is simply piled on white bread and sprinkled with salt for a sandwich that sticks both to the roof of my mouth and to the insides of my throat and chest as it goes down. I swear, but that's exactly the way I like it. Hanger ensues if I don't eat at least one of those sandwiches yearly.
But I also like more creatively re-purposed leftovers. For example, a Turkey Manhattan (an open-faced sandwich with turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy) is probably second on the must-have Thanksgiving leftovers scale. I also always throw a couple of extra sweet potatoes in the oven alongside whatever is roasting for the sole purpose of eating these Cranberry-Barbecue Turkey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes later on. Turkey Tetrazzini and Cranberry Sauce Crumb Bars are a couple more of my family's favorite uses for leftovers.
Today I'm sharing something that looks kind of extravagant, but it's incredibly simple. And even more incredibly delicious. This uses leftover turkey, leftover cranberry sauce, and if you're anything like me, you've got extra herbs and turkey stock (but chicken stock will work, too) jammed into your overflowing holiday-heavy fridge.
For the cornbread waffles, I just use a simple boxed cornbread mix. I mean, I cooked for an army for the past three days—I'm breaking out the convenience items today. Shred the leftover turkey and fold it into a creamy, herb-flecked sauce, then serve it alongside the leftover cranberry sauce on top of your cornbread waffles the next day for brunch (because hopefully you got to sleep in).
Herbed Turkey over Cornbread Waffles w/ Cranberry Sauce
Turn your Thanksgiving leftovers into the next days brunch by stirring turkey into an herbed cream sauce, then topping cornbread waffles with it. Finish it off with any leftover cranberry sauce.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: breakfast entree cornmeal cranberries turkey herbs Thanksgiving American fall
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 6 ounces evaporated milk
- 6 to 8 ounces turkey or chicken stock
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons sherry
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 3 cups (12 ounces) cooked, shredded turkey
- small handful fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- sea salt, as needed
- 2 (8.5 ounce each) boxes cornbread mix*
- 1 to 1-1/2 cups whole berry cranberry sauce (whatever kind you have)
Preheat a regular (not Belgian) waffle maker.
Stir the evaporated milk, turkey stock (lesser amount), and garlic together in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl (or in a small pot on the stove). Heat until steaming.
In the meantime, place butter in a nonstick, deep-sided skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, sprinkle the flour over it, and stir until flour is absorbed. Cook for at least one minute.
Whisk the hot liquid mixture into the pan along with the sherry, Parmesan, and white pepper. Cook and stir while bubbling gently until lightly thickened. Add shredded turkey and the herbs and stir until turkey is heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, if necessary. If sauce seems too thick, thin with the rest of the stock.
While that's happening, you can make your cornbread mix according to package directions (or stir together the mix for your favorite homemade variety). Scoop by 1/4-cup portions onto the preheated and sprayed (if necessary) waffle iron. Cook until golden. Repeat until all the mix is gone (you should have 12 individual waffles).
If you want your cranberry sauce warm, heat it gently in the microwave or on the stove top.
To serve, place two waffles on each plate, then top with a sixth of the turkey mixture and a sixth of the cranberry sauce. Enjoy!
I use boxed cornbread mix here simply to save time. I mean, I just cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal the day before—I deserve a little easy. Feel free to substitute a homemade cornbread batter.
If you don't have a waffle maker, you could make corn cakes (hoe cakes) instead. Or, simply serve alongside your favorite cornbread.
-inspired by and adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, November 2007