Comfort Food

Comfort Food

Next Day Turkey a la King!

Morning After Thanksgiving!

1st of a Series of 
12 Days of Left-over Turkey!

It has always been a tradition at 
my house ... to have brunch on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day.  For almost 40 years, the menu has been the same:  Turkey a la King!   
My husband and I were married the week before Thanksgiving, and I distinctly remember that first big meal I fixed for the family.  The next day, as I looked at all the left-overs, I opened up my blue and white Good Housekeeping cookbook and found a picture of Chicken a la King ... and that started the tradition.   

Now, I wasn't new to the dish.  When I was in high school, my mom would keep Banquet brand boiling bag portions of Chicken a la King in the freezer.  I walked home for lunch ... had plenty of time to fix one of those ... and still get back to school in time for afternoon classes.  I loved the stuff!

Good news for me.  My husband loved it too, but his first taste came on our little kitchen table during the first week of marriage!  I'm not sure what he loved the most ... the Thanksgiving Day turkey ... or brunch the day after!

Next Day Turkey a la King

1 stick butter
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
4 Tablespoons flour
2 cups chopped turkey
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups milk
1 cup peas
¼ cup sliced green pimento stuffed olives

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet and sauté the mushrooms, onions and celery until the vegetables are soft.  Blend in the flour and add the chicken stock.  Continue to stir and add the turkey, peas and milk.  The sauce should begin to thicken.  As a last step, add the olives and a little olive juice for flavor.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve this over toast, biscuits, toasted corn bread or puff pastry.

Now remember … the purpose of this recipe is to use up left-over turkey and fixin’s.  If you have left-over peas and mushrooms from Thanksgiving dinner … use them instead of fresh mushrooms and a new batch of peas.  If there are pearl onions in your left-over peas … even if they are in cream sauce … add all of it and skip the onions in the recipe!  If you have a few olives left in the jar … use them.  They only make this recipe better.  I’ve even been known to ‘un-stuff’ celery and eat the stuffing on a cracker, so I could use the celery in my a la King!   I doubt that I have ever actually made this recipe with chicken or turkey stock because I always use left-over giblet gravy!

The other thing to keep in mind is that although this recipe easily makes 6 – 8 portions, if you have a crowd to feed, you can add more milk and gravy/stock … without adding more turkey.  The cream sauce … enhanced with the salty flavors of the olives … is really good with or without turkey, so you can stretch the recipe by increasing the amount of sauce!

This is just one way to use turkey that is left from your big dinner.  Save the big chunks for something else, because the bits that you pick off the carcass are perfect for this recipe.

I'm going to share this with a few parties, so make sure you click through to visit!

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