The best part of Turkey Day is the Day-After-Thanksgiving leftovers.
The Day-After-Thanksgiving is like a second holiday and it’s the fuel before Black Friday shopping—or recovery afterward.
We all know leftovers are one of the fan-favorites of Turkey Day, and I think most people can agree that having a fridge full of leftovers is the best thing about hosting Thanksgiving.
While keeping leftovers seems like a no-brainer, if not done properly, this easy and frugal fix may make you sick. And no one wants to be sick around the holidays- that’s why it’s important to understand how to properly store those tasty fixings.
How do you store those leftovers properly? What is the correct time, temperature and how long will they last? These are just a few questions that come to mind and if you scroll through the internet there are a gazillion different answers. That’s why I took these questions straight to the expert on all things food, acclaimed chef and restaurateur Sam Marvin to get the real answers!
Marvin (creator of the much-celebrated Los Angeles restaurant Bottega Louie) has single-handedly reinvented the traditional American steakhouse right here in Las Vegas (and Sacramento) into a concept that new and exciting.
What’s the concept? Echo & Rig Restaurant not only transforms long-held theories behind the steakhouse formula it also reintroduces the neighborhood butcher shop. The Echo & Rig Butcher Shop features one of the most acclaimed butchers in the country, a large open glass meat locker, vertical displays and an exhibition/demonstration area.
Q: How long after serving should you refrigerate your leftovers?
SM: You should refrigerate your leftovers as soon as you are finished with them. The sooner you get them chilled and stored the better.
Q: Should you let the food come to room temperature or put it straight into the fridge?
SM: Room temperature is not good, you should chill them to get them to a cold temperature as fast as possible, even uncovered in a cold refrigerator is better than leaving out at room temperature to prepare for storage.
Q: Should you break leftovers down into smaller portions?
SM: If freezing absolutely! If only refrigerating than you just need to be efficient and organized in your storage.
Q: How long will the leftovers last in the refrigerator?
SM: Thanksgiving leftovers should last a worry- free 3 days.
Q: Should you freeze any of the leftovers?
SM: Absolutely freeze some of the leftovers like gravy, soup, turkey carcass bones and any scraps(for a broth).
Q: What is the best way to do that?
SM: The best way to freeze liquids is in a freezer safe plastic quart container with lid and wrapped in plastic wrap. To wrap the bones, break them into smaller pieces and put them in a freezer large Ziplock bag and wrap in aluminum foil. Freezing them allows for them to last a very long time, up to a year for the liquids and a couple months for the bones.
Q: What types of containers should you use to store leftovers in the refrigerator?
SM: Ziplock bags are an awesome way to store things in your refrigerator! There are many sizes and are made for storage, which works great for turkey, vegetables, stuffing, etc. They are easy to label with a Sharpie so that you know date and contents and easy to store in multiple bags for sizing! Liquids, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, etc. should be stored in deli containers with lids, which are also available in various sizes and easy to label as well.
Q: Should you remove the Turkey from the bone before storing?
SM: Yes, even though it’s the last thing you want to do after thanksgiving dinner. This can be done the next morning, just wrap well with plastic wrap to keep it airtight in your refrigerator for the next 12 hours before you clean the bird. Now would be a great time to start your turkey stock as well with the carcass and all the scrap onion, celery and carrots you saved.
Q: Any tips for reheating those leftovers?
SM: Add a few tablespoons of stock when reheating items like mashed potatoes, vegetables, turkey, etc. It will help keep moist and eventually will evaporate so it won’t effect the consistency of the dish.
Q: Any other leftovers secrets you can share?
SM: Use the Carcass! There is so much flavor and meat on the bird that it is a shame not to use. Spend a little time picking the carcass clean and make the best turkey salad of the year, boil the carcass with vegetables, and make a stock you can use for a soup.
Q: What are your favorite ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers?
SM: Sandwiches seem to be a favorite in our household. We love Turkey salad w/ fresh cranberry sauce and Hot turkey hoagies with stuffing & gravy. You also can’t go wrong with a Turkey Pot Pie! Line a casserole with pie crust or puff pastry and fill with leftovers, everything from green bean casserole, stuffing, turkey, sweet potatoes, roasted vegetables, gravy, etc. Cover with dough and bake for 20 – 30 minutes. YUM!
This has been a crazy year and if you are anything like me spending the entire day in the kitchen cooking is the LAST thing I want to do during the holidays- luckily Echo & Rig is offering an AMAZING option to help you Give Thanks without “Giving” your whole day to the kitchen.
The “Traditional Turkey Feast” features a 14-16 lb oven-ready pre-seasoned Diestel Farms turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, brown sugar yams, roasted autumn vegetables, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie, serves six to eight, $194. You can also order items a la carte, just the turkey or a bountiful selection of side dishes including butternut squash soup, apple pie or dinner rolls- come on, you know you will burn them if you cook them yourself LOL.
Order now for pickup on Wednesday 11/25/2020 or Thursday 11/26/2020 at Echoandrig.com/store or by calling 702-489-3525
Hope you have a “Happy Day-After-Thanksgiving Leftovers Day” (my new favorite holiday!)