Friday, December 29, 2017

Turkey A La King and Memories

Christmas is past, and so is our Boxing Day party. Tonight I had some left over turkey a la king over two pieces of toasted Irish wholemeal flour sourdough with sunflower seeds that I made today. First time I've baked fresh bread in weeks! It was nice. I want to thank my daughter for the Christmas gift of the King Arthur Flour Irish Wholemeal flour. It is such a pleasure to work with and imparts a great texture and nutty flavor to the bread.

The turkey recipe sure does bring back memories. It was one of my Mom's favorites for using up leftover turkey after Thanksgiving. She usually served it over toast, but sometimes we had it over waffles, which I loved. Rarely it was served over steamed rice, which my Dad loved, but then he loved rice and would have eaten it at every meal. Another favorite was to serve it over buttermilk biscuits. She also made something called Turkey Tetrazzini which had turkey and pasta, but I never cared for it (and it uses a lot of Parmesan cheese), turkey soup, and lots of grilled turkey sandwiches. Once I learned how to cook, I learned how to make all of them. I do miss my Mom at this time of year, and my Dad, too, so I guess making this dish is comfort food in a very real way.

I love turkey. Anyone who knows me knows that. So, of course, when I didn't get to make a full, roasted, big turkey for Thanksgiving since we purchased a pre-cooked one when we were in LA, I had to make one in December. Because Sweetie and K are not nearly as fond of turkey as I am, we didn't have it for Christmas dinner. A few days before K came I roasted it and then enjoyed grilled turkey sandwiches for a few days at lunchtime. Still, there was some cubed turkey left after we cleaned up the leftovers. I decided to make a variation of one of my Mom's Turkey a la King. This recipe is a kind of gravy and turkey sauce which can be served over rice, toast, or biscuits. I decided to make biscuits to serve it over and we had some hot peas on the side.

You start with peppers. Mom used green peppers, but I really don't like green pepper, so I used red. There are also mushrooms. I found some nice whole small criminis and sliced them. The mustard and capers I added were my own variation and I think they really added some zest to the dish. I had leftover turkey stock, so I used that in the gravy, which really added a full on turkey flavor to the dish. Great if you love turkey like I do! You could also make this with cooked cubed chicken and chicken stock and it would still be delicious. It is the kind of dish that improves with a little age, so it was even tastier tonight.

Turkey a la Elle
serves 4

1/3 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup green or red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon mustard
1 cup chicken or turkey broth
1 cup cream, evaporated skim milk, or soy creamer
1 cup cooked turkey, diced
1 tablespoon capers (or fewer if you are not a big fan of capers)

Saute' mushrooms and bell pepper in margarine. Removed from heat and add flour, salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the mustard, broth, and cream or milk or creamer. Slowly stir the broth mixture into the mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Add cooked turkey and capers and continue cooking at same heat until poultry is heated through. Serve over toast, rice, biscuits, or waffles.


  1. Next Sister Down8:07 AM

    I'm with you on the turkey tetrazzini. Turkey a la king was okay but not a favorite of mine. Grilled turkey sandwiches are still my favorite way to use leftover turkey. One year in the late 1990s or so, Mom came to my place for Thanksgiving because The Captain and his crew had to go to the in-laws' house across the bridge. JS enjoyed making the turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole (one of his family's traditions). He had a big time shooing Mom and me out of the kitchen to go watch figure skating while he cooked. Mom was called back to make the gravy, though, because she was the queen of gravy. The next day, we took Mom home, and then JS and I drove to York, PA, to visit friends. Saturday morning, at the downtown farmer's market (an indoor market in a very cool old brick building), at an antiques stand, I came across an old waffle iron *exactly* like the one we grew up with--same brand, same vintage, with the reversible plates. I bought it, and when we got back home, I made grilled turkey sandwiches from our leftover turkey, using the flat plates. Ahh, that was lovely! I still have the waffle iron, but I probably haven't had turkey since Thanksgiving 2014. It's too much meat for me, and I dislike turkey broth made with the carcass. Maybe I should buy some sliced turkey at the deli counter to make the sandwiches.

  2. I think you might find that adding the capers and mustard improves the a la king enough that you might enjoy it over waffles from the waffle iron. What brand and model was it? If I were ever to find a used one I would snap it up. As far as turkey sandwiches, can you find just turkey breast, bone in, to roast? It makes just the right amount for a week's worth of grilled turkey sandwiches. Oh, wait, I'm the only one who eats grilled turkey sandwiches for lunch for a whole week?

  3. Next Sister Down12:29 PM

    I'll look for turkey breast. That might work. I could definitely eat grilled turkey sandwiches for a week!

    The waffle iron is a Dominion Model 1311-A. I'll try to put in a link that has pictures: