Turkey burnout is insidious. One minute your bird is beautiful and fragrant, floating majestically to the table, its crisp skin glistening. You could eat every last bite all by yourself. But in a twinkling―or, to be exact, after a couple of servings―the feast loses its luster. By the time the candles have been snuffed, the good china put away, and the wine glasses washed, what's left of your 20-pounder looks like just one more responsibility. Worse, the week ahead looms with the dreary prospects of turkey hash, turkey supreme, and turkey a la king. For a moment, you consider getting a really big dog.
Not to sound unsympathetic, but snap out of it! Strip that bird straightaway with a sharp knife, and quickly refrigerate the white and dark meat in separate airtight containers (for up to five days or freeze for up to two months). Don't labor over the bones and fatty "parson's nose," telling yourself you'll boil them down into soup stock―you know you won't be in the mood for that anytime soon. Toss 'em, and be done with it. Feel better? You should. You've cleared the slate for a fresh approach to this versatile, forgiving meat and stocked a ready-to-use supply.
These recipes give your leftovers a new life, without ever resorting to a turkey-noodle surprise.