Dec. 9, 2019

Our Chef’s Top Two Leftover Turkey Recipes

We can do better than hot turkey sandwiches — although we love those too — precisely why we asked UCalgary’s executive chef how he gives turkey a whole new identity on day two or three
Turkey dinner
Turkey dinner

They had us at the blackboard — roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, a medley of root veggies, dressing, gravy, zingy cranberry sauce, sticky toffee pudding (garnished with gummy bears) and slabs of pumpkin pie.  My partner . . . well, she swooned over the roasted heads of curried cauliflower, gluten-free stuffing, vegan gravy, citrus beet salad and more.

This was just a page from last Thursday’s festive meal, devoured by some 1,400 students who had a sliver of pre-holiday bliss, served at The Landing (UCalgary’s main dining centre), the day before classes officially wrapped.

“This will sustain me,” grinned first-year student Taylor Guy, “I call it ‘bulk eating’ because once I start studying for exams I can be buried for eight hours and totally forget to eat.”

Guy and roommate Elemi Moumos were first in line for the holiday extravaganza — an irresistible smorgasbord that executive chef Paul Maniaci explains included prepping 600-700 potatoes, 130 kilos of turkey, 600 root vegetables, 15 pounds of butter, 20 heads of cauliflower (the vegan option) as well as a chicken/mushroom and scalloped potato dish  featured in the Halal meal, and so forth.


Holiday cookies

Mind-blowing quantities are nothing new to Maniaci who was the executive chef at the Delta Bow Valley (now known as Delta Hotels by Marriott Calgary) for 14 years. For many of those years, Maniaci’s staff would roast 240 turkeys over the holiday period and if there were leftovers you’d likely see turkey gumbo, enchiladas or turkey shepherd’s pie on the menu the next day.

“Just like you would at my home,” grins Maniachi, whose family adores leftovers. Knowing that, we asked him for two original recipes that he will cook at home this year using those beloved turkey scraps. Post-turkey day faceoffs, herewith:

Savory Turkey and Brie Crêpes

Crêpes can be made ahead of time and held in fridge

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 10 min

Total Time: 65 min


For the Crêpes

  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoon melted butter

For the filling

  • ½ cup leftover cranberry sauce
  • 8 oz. thinly sliced leftover turkey
  • 4 oz. Brie cheese, sliced


Step One

Add milk, flour, eggs, 2 tbsp (30 mL) melted butter and salt to blender; process until smooth. Strain into bowl. Let stand at least 30 min. or refrigerate up to 12 hours.

Step Two

Heat 8-in. (20-cm) non-stick skillet over medium heat. Brush with some of remaining melted butter. Pour 1/4 cup (60 mL) batter into middle of skillet; quickly swirl to coat bottom of skillet. Cook 1 min. until crêpe begins to curl at edges and lift away from skillet. Flip and cook another 30 set. Transfer to plate. Repeat with remaining batter to make 8 crêpes. (Crêpes can be prepared to this point, stored between sheets of wax paper, wrapped and refrigerated up to 1 day in advance.)

Step Three

To assemble crepes, preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

Spread 1 tbsp. (15 mL) cranberry sauce on each crêpe, top with turkey and brie. Fold each crêpe in from the sides in and roll to form like a burrito. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake 3 to 5 min. until cheese starts to melt. 

Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

This recipe comes in handy after Christmas when you have a mountain of extra mashed potatoes.

Prep Time: 25 mins

Cook Time: 5 mins

Servings: 8


  • 5 slices bacon, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup diced sweet onion
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ¼ cup leftover cold mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1⁄3 cup flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • sour cream, for serving
  • minced fresh chives, for serving


Cook bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until crispy, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes. Drain off grease and transfer to a large bowl (reserving some for garnish).

In the same skillet, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, and garlic; saute until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the bacon.

Add to the bowl the mashed potatoes, cheese, flour, egg, mustard, pepper, and a few dashes of hot sauce; stir to combine. 

Form mixture into 8 (1/3-cup) patties, about 1/2-3/4 inch thick.

Heat oil in the skillet over medium heat. Fry patties until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side.

Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream, chives, and reserved bacon.

Tips for Making Mashed Potato Cakes:

You want to use leftover mashed potatoes that are cold. They should be thick and not too creamy.

Flour is used as an important binder in the cakes. If your mixture ends up being too sticky, you can add a touch more flour, but be careful – if you use too much, your cakes will taste more like flour and less like potatoes.

Feel free to get creative with your mix-ins! Don’t like bacon? Use ham. Don’t like cheddar cheese? How about Pepper Jack. Want them to have more heat? Add more hot sauce. Have fun with it.

You can make the patties ahead of time and refrigerate them before frying. Place parchment paper between layers to avoid sticking.

For best results, serve right after frying while they’re hot and crispy.

Steve Chin, Advancement