Thanksgiving Leftovers

We all agree – there is nothing better than Thanksgiving leftovers.  I roast a huge turkey to feed everyone once, and to have plenty of leftovers; one of my Thanksgiving guests who didn’t want to take leftovers home with him just wrote, with tears in his message, “I was thinking about leftovers; I may have to roast up a turkey”; Fiona and Joe greet Thanksgiving leftovers like they were their favorite meal.

So we have our turkey sandwiches slathered with mayonnaise, our reheated spoon bread, stuffing and turkey, our turkey, roasted onions, and gravy.  And then there is Hachis Parmentier.

Hachis Parmentier a la Dinde
Hachis Parmentier à la Dinde

Hachis Parmentier is one of the best French answers to leftovers.  Normally it’s made with beef, but it can be made with any leftover meat.  The one constant is potatoes, or it wouldn’t be called Parmentier.    Auguste Parmentier was the man responsible, in 1795, for bringing the potato to the French.

I offer you here my recipe for Hachis Parmentier à la Dinde, with turkey.  You can add whatever you like, from stuffing to cooked vegetables, to gravy.   Mine is always simple, with the addition of sweet, slow-cooked red onions.  I make a new batch of mashed potatoes (because those from Thanksgiving have already disappeared), and I add stock because the gravy has already gone the way of the mashed potatoes.

red onions

Shredded Turkey
Shredded Turkey

I think you’ll love this dish so much you’ll find yourself in the position of my friend, roasting a turkey for leftovers, and Hachis Parmentier à la Dinde.

Bon Appétit, Post-Thanksgiving!


Hachis on the plate
Hachis on the plate

Hachis Parmentier à La Dinde

Turkey Hachis Parmentier

Shred the turkey meat, to give a wonderful texture to the dish.  Sprinkling Gruyere cheese on almost everything that goes in the oven is a French custom and is entirely optional.

2 pounds (1kg) starchy potatoes, peeled, cut in half

Coarse sea salt

2 bay leaves from the Laurus nobilis

1 heaping tablespoon unsalted butter

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound  (500g) red onions, very thinly sliced

1 cup crème fraîche or heavy, non ultra-pasteurized heavy cream

2 pounds (1kg) cooked turkey meat, shredded

1 cup (250ml) poultry stock

2 ounces (60g) Gruyere — optional

1.  Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover by 2-inches with water. Add 2 heaping teaspoons salt and 2 bay leaves, bring to a boil, and cook until the potatoes are tender all the way through, about 20 minutes.

2.  Melt the butter in a medium-sized, heavy saucepan over medium heat.  When it is foaming, add the onions, stir so they are coated with butter, season them with salt and pepper, cover, and cook until they are tender and translucent, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently so they don’t stick.

3.  Preheat the oven to 425F (220C).

4.  When the onions are cooked, transfer them to a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, and spread them evenly across the bottom.  Season with salt and pepper, and top with the shredded turkey.  Pour ½ cup (125ml) stock over all.

5. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them, saving the cooking water.  Add the cream to the potatoes and mash them. When the potatoes are mashed, mash in the remaining ½ cup (125ml) stock (or use potato cooking water).

6.  Spread the potatoes over the turkey in an even layer.  Sprinkle evenly with the cheese, and bake in the center of the oven until the cheese and the potatoes are slightly golden, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat and serve.

6 to 8 servings



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