Leftover Turkey Risotto

It is amazing that in four days it will be Christmas. This is my favorite season but sadly it always seems to go by so quickly. It won’t be long and we will be thinking about the New Year and packing up our Christmas decorations. What I wanted to talk about is one of my favorite problems and that is what to do with all of the turkey leftovers. Every year I try to make sure I buy an even bigger turkey then I needed to ensure lots of leftovers and each year I have tried to come up with a new recipe to use it. Last year it was my take on a healthier version of Turkey Tetrazzini and this year I am proud to say I have added this delicious creation of a creamy risotto with leftover turkey to my repertoire.

Leftover Turkey Risotto

1.1 liters (5-6 c.) stock, warm
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
400g (2 c.) arborio rice
2/3 c. dry white wine
salt and pepper
2 courgettes, diced (zucchini)
225g (8 oz) leftover turkey, chopped into small bites
225g (8oz) mushrooms, diced
115g (1/3 c.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp thick cream (or cream cheese)

Heat the olive oil and add the onions and garlic, and fry on low heat for about 15 minutes. When the onions have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat.

The rice will begin to lightly fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the vermouth or wine and keep stirring until the wine has absorbed into the rice.

Once the wine has been absorbed start by adding one ladle of hot stock. Turn down the heat to a simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Allow the liquid to absorb into the rice before you add another. Keep adding ladle fulls of stock, stirring continuously and almost massaging the creamy starch out of the rice, allowing each ladle full to be absorbed before adding the next. It will take about 15-20 minutes; you might not need all of the stock. Taste the rice when you are 15 minutes into the process; the rice is done when it is just slightly chewy. It will continue to cook when it is off the heat.

While you are cooking the rice start preparing the other ingredients by sauteing the courgettes in a small amount of olive oil and dash of salt and pepper and cook until it is soft and slightly browning. Keep warm and set aside.

Heat the pan again adding 1 Tbsp of olive oil; allow the oil to get nice and hot before you add the mushrooms. Add one layer of mushrooms to the pan, allowing the mushrooms to heat through before you attempt to stir. Then stir only a few times and cook until the mushrooms are slightly brown; about 5-7 minutes.

In the same skillet heat another dash of olive oil and cook turkey until heated through.

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When the rice is done remove from the heat and add the Parmesan; stir until the cheese has melted.

Add the cream (or if you are like me and you don’t have any cream on hand I found some cream cheese turned out just as good) Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Combine the turkey, courgette and mushrooms to the risotto and serve immediately.