Let’s talk comfort food!
The weather outside may be frightful, but all around the kitchen and, seeping like a ghost from a Christmas just passed, through the rest of the toasty warm house, is the aroma of a supper, creamed turkey over tubed biscuits, none can wait to sit down to eat.
Remember that I come from a large family, so having one butterball turkey over the holidays was never going to be enough. Even two would be pulling it close if unexpected visitors arrived with empty bellies. (And knowing that mom and grandma where no doubt cooking up a delicious storm, that’s exactly how they arrived.)
One of my favorite dishes has always been grandma’s creamed chicken over biscuits, but, during the holiday months, and for several weeks after, mother’s creamed turkey gave that recipe a run for its money!
Mom’s Creamed Turkey Over Biscuits
I have to admit, it was always nice to have the house grow quiet after a large holiday feast and a busy afternoon with rambunctious kids and loud laughing adults, and watch as mother and grandma, would gather around the table, with three or four half devoured turkey carcasses and a steaming cup of coffee in hand, to sit and talk in quiet whispers one to the other as they cleaned the remaining meat from what had, at one time that day, been the beginning of a beautiful family dinner. (I also have to admit that I wondered often about those hushed conversations and the not so subtle giggles, that periodically burst through the quiet, but I never was quite brave enough to ask.) All I really knew was that sooner or later, in the next few days, grandma would pull out ‘Nesco‘ and the creamed turkey would commence to cooking!
Here’s the recipe that my mother uses to this day after any holiday turkey that has been abandoned for an easy chair or sofa. Like every holiday before, mother cleans the bird of all remaining meats, both white and dark and chops the meat into small pieces. (Mom pretty much wings the rest, but here’s what she wrote down for me.)
The ingredients and directions for mom’s Creamed Turkey:
- 1 onion chopped small– and actually mom used the left over green onions that were always served in a glass of cold water in the center of the table! My father loved green onions dipped in way too much salt! She served them for every holiday! So do I!
- 3 stalks of celery chopped small – these too are taken from the relish plate that was served with dinner and utilized in this wonderful dish! Nothing goes to waste! Remember grandma was raised in the depression so everything is precious!
- 3 carrots chopped small – guess where these come from? that’s right! The relish plate! And remember, you can add more or less of these first three ingredients. Once your stew starts coming together, you will know whether or not to add more of one or the other or all of them.
- Set your roaster to 350 degrees or your crock pot on high.
- Dump in three cups of chicken broth – mom always kept a few boxes of broth in the refrigerator around the holidays for just this dish.
- Toss in your celery, onions and carrots.
- Toss in your chopped turkey – about 2 pounds of your turkey meat, both dark and white, chopped small
- Add 2 cans of cream of chicken soup and 1 can of cream of celery soup and stir to combine.
- Toss in a bay leaf – but don’t forget to remove it before serving your dish to your friends and family.
- Add 1 teaspoon of oregano, 1/4 teaspoon of thyme and 2 cloves of minced garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste – again stirring to combine.
- Stir in 1 bag of frozen peas and slap on the lid! Vent slot open.
- Cook for 1 hour!
- Crack open 2 tubes of refrigerated biscuit dough – grandma of course made her own homemade biscuits for this dish, but mom found these things and Whala! grandma was out voted. (That was probably one of those conversations around the quiet table, and I’m fairly certain there was no giggling going on.) None the less, I too use the tubed biscuits. They are very good and extremely easy to use.
- Remove the lid from the roaster (or crock pot) and stir the stew thoroughly. Then lay the biscuits on top of the stew. Don’t place them too much on top of each other. Push them in gently beside each other. They’ll fit. (If you are using a crock pot, cut the biscuits in quarters and drop them on top of the stew.)
- Replace the lid and cook for 1 hour more.
- Garnish with the chopped greens of the green onions and serve with your leftover, reheated stuffing and mashed potatoes. It’s a delicious way to use up all of your leftovers and a pretty good way to remind everyone that it’s all over for another year and it’s back to the real world. (At least until new years eve! But that’s another post!)
And remember, you don’t have to wait for that left over turkey however. There are tons of great chicken and tubed biscuit recipes all over the internet. I have found one that I’ve pinned and have used several times in the past few months. I’ve posted it here so you can try this recipe as well.