Turkey Rice Porridge with Roasted Onion and Pinot Noir

No matter how much Thanksgiving turkey I eat out of the left-over box in the fridge, I can’t seem to find the bottom. I still have tons of turkey left in my refrigerator and need some creative ways to turn it into something fabulous. If anyone is in the same boat, let’s exchange some ideas. For me, I’d make a turkey porridge with roasted onion. It’s super easy and is great to serve as lunch on a cold day. How about you? What magic has worked on your leftover turkey from Thanksgiving?

My turkey porridge starts with sautéing 1 parsnip (peeled & chopped), 1 leek (chopped & used only white part), 1 onion (chopped), 4 carrots (chopped), 4 stalk celery (chopped), 10 sprigs fresh parsley, 10 sprigs fresh thyme & 3 whole cloves garlic in a big pot. Then I add 3 lbs of turkey (bones, legs, wings and any left-over meats) to this pot and cover it with water. I bring it to boil and add 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns and salt to taste and let it simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Next, I strain out the turkey broth and put 8 cups of it in a pot with 1 cup of rice. Subsequently, I bring it to a boil and then simmer until all the liquid is absorbed into the rice. While the rice is getting cooked, I separate out turkey meats from the vegetables and bones and shred them by hand. Finally, when the rice is done, I mix with the turkey meat in the pot and garnish it with some roasted onion and chopped parsley.

I am pairing this delicious turkey porridge with a 2004 Demuth Winery Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley in Mendocino county, California. Made with Pinot Noir grapes slowly grown in cool climates over an extended season, this dry red wine has rich notes of cherry, raspberry, lavender and spices. The wine’s delicacy is really a perfect mix for the subtle flavors of “sweet-earthy” vegetables blended with rich turkey flavor in the porridge. Also, the wine’s round texture provides a great backdrop to the varied textures of the porridge – the creaminess of the rice, tenderness of the meat and crunchiness of the roasted onions. Lastly, the soft tannin and long acidity of the wine nicely cleanses the palate after every bite of the rich turkey porridge. What a glamorous meal that left-over turkey can turn into! Yum. Hope you enjoy your leftover turkey this holiday season along with this recipe and a wine pairing! Happy cooking.

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