Sometimes I think it would be interesting to write a cookbook. I toss around ideas with Barrett, some whacky and some intriguing. But let's be real. If I were to write a cookbook, I really only have two choices: 1001 Things To Do With A Chicken Breast or 1001 Things To Do With Leftover Turkey Meat. (Or, I suppose, it could be 2002 Things To Do With Poultry...) It's all the Critic's fault. He could eat chicken breast for dinner in one form or another pretty much every day of the week and never complain. And he has a Thing about turkeys. They have to be BIG. Last Christmas we were three adults and one milk-fed baby and still our turkey was over 8 kilos. This Thanksgiving the turkey was even larger, weighing in at a whopping 9.3 kilos (around 20 lbs). Luckily we had more guests, though two of the ten sadly had to cancel on the day due to a minor accident on the way to our place. Even if they had made it, I'm sure we still would have had a few pounds of meat leftover.
So here is a recipe for the book some day. It is inspired by Nigel Slater's 30 Minute Cookbook, which has a great section on using up leftover meat. None of his had the cabbage idea, though, so I'm claiming the recipe as my own. But without Nigel I would never have realized how truly wonderful a couple of boats of leftover gravy can be when you are making up a quick dinner.
This is so simple to make and only took about 20 minutes from start to finish. The dark meat of the turkey and the strong cabbage flavour complement each other perfectly and the odd bit of giblet from the gravy is delightful. (If you like giblets, which I do. Otherwise, you'll have to use boring old normal gravy.) And the butternut gives a nice bit of color as well as a balancing sweet touch. This was so good I ate up two big bowls of it on the evening and had the rest for lunch the next day. Be generous with the salt, however, as it seems to need it. Perhaps this is because I'm used to having a salty pork product with my cabbage usually?
Turkey, Squash and Cabbage Stew
400 grams roasted turkey meat, mostly the dark bits
200 grams cubed cooked butternut squash
1/3 a head of Savoy cabbage
1/2 cup giblet gravy (though plain can be substituted)
salt and pepper
Chop the cabbage into bite sized pieces and plunge them in a pot of salted boiling water. In the meantime, cut the turkey meat in bite-sized pieces. Put the gravy in the bottom of a high-sided frying pan and heat it until it sizzles. Add the turkey meat and squash. Add a little water so that the gravy doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and stir. Let the water reduce so that it starts to get thick again. After about ten minutes the cabbage should be tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cabbage to the frying pan and give it all a good stir. If the pan seems a bit dry, add some of the cabbage water. Taste for salt and serve in a deep bowl with a glass of red wine.
Variation: I was too lazy and too hungry to fiddle around with shallots, but next time I might try to fry some in a little butter before adding the gravy, meat and squash. I am sure they would be a great addition. However, it was pretty tasty in the original form.