Turkey ideas - leftover turkey pie with pastry on top

Thanksgiving: one of our favourite times of year. It’s the perfect time to celebrate all that’s good with our loved ones – and in 2020 do we need to do that!

While celebrations may need to be scaled down this year, it doesn’t have to mean we miss out on the amazing Thanksgiving feast that comes with it – there just might be lots of leftovers (don’t worry, we’ve already thought of that!). And the star of the show is undoubtedly the turkey. Find out how to get it just right with our ultimate Thanksgiving guide.

Why turkey?

What’s not to love about turkey? Not only can it be leaner than chicken, the dark meat in particular has even more flavour. The only caveat is that you need to buy a good bird. They are intelligent, active animals that live a lot longer than most poultry, which makes it even more important they are able to act naturally while they grow. Not only does it mean they live a happy life, it improves the flavour of the meat too. Lazy turkeys have less flavour and grow fat, whereas happy active ones grow more slowly and therefore taste a lot better.

Then there are the delicious leftovers. Sneaking poultry into endless curries, soups and risottos is lots of fun, not to mention a stacked leftover turkey sandwich. Especially when it looks as good as Jamie’s.

turkey ideas

The perfect roast

Before we get to lovely leftovers, you’ve got to cook it right. There’s no point investing in a huge, beautiful turkey only to burn it in the oven. Jamie’s Best turkey in the world is an absolutely incredible recipe because it uses this lovely butter, flavoured with cranberries, rosemary and clementine – all seasonal flavours and perfect for cutting through the white meat. If you want to keep the winter fruit theme going this Thanksgiving, why not go for these awesome sage and orange roast potatoes too?

turkey ideas

The winning leftovers

If there’s one thing you’re guaranteed, it’s more turkey than you need – and Jamie has some amazing Thanksgiving leftover recipes. 

His turkey con chilli is pretty special, with a delicious hit of smoked paprika, and his turkey and sweet leek pie is one the whole family will love. In fact, if you don’t want a whole roast turkey, this would be an amazing Thanksgiving meal. For something fresh and zingy, try this Asian-inspired turkey salad recipe – the little pops of flavour from the pomegranate makes it really special.

turkey ideas

The ultimate sandwich

You can’t beat a good turkey sarnie. Get some brown rolls, be generous with the butter (what? It’s Thanksgiving!) and load them with fresh, crunchy lettuce, mayonnaise, cranberry sauce and some crispy bacon, then top it with a mix of brown and white leftover meat.We’d roast a whole turkey just for that sandwich right there.

Buying the right turkey

There are lots of ways to guarantee you’re getting a quality bird. All over the world there are quality assurance marks; in the UK anything that’s free-range or organic guarantees you some quality, while in Canada it’s Certified Humane. But what do those certifications mean? It means the farmer hasn’t used any growth hormones, and that the birds have been brought up in an environment that lets them act naturally. So, this Thanksgiving, buy good-quality turkey and reap the rewards for a better dinner, better leftovers and the knowledge that you’ve eaten ethically.

turkey ideas

Don’t forget the extras…

The mashed potatoes, the gravy, the cranberry sauce, the stuffing, the pumpkin pie! Together with the turkey, they make the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. 

And if that’s left you hungry for more, watch how Jamie creates his ultimate turkey sandwich.