After Thanksgiving (Chicago, November 23-25)

Here’s a thought: the days after Thanksgiving are just as exciting as the day of. When else during the year are leftovers so exciting? I loved our Thanksgiving dinner, but I might remember even more fondly the flautas with turkey and salad we had on Saturday with hot cocoa. Then there were days-after-Thanksgivings long ago with Turkey-salad sandwiches and glasses of champaign with family friends.

Even after the sandwiches, there’s more enjoyment to be had. If I had made my own this year (I didn’t) I’d have made a light soup out of the carcass like I do sometimes with leftover roast chicken.


After you make sandwiches or flautas or whatever with the choice meat of your bird, cut up the carcass  into several large pieces. In a large pot, bring a couple of tablespoons of olive oil up to heat, and cook the pieces of bird until fragrant. If you have an onion and celery you can add these too, but if not that’s fine. Fill the pot with water so that it almost but not quite covers the solids, add lots of salt and a handful of peppercorns and bring to low boil. Then simmer for an hour and a half or so. Remove the solid pieces and let them cool.

Meanwhile, make long-grain rice with a few ladles of the now chickeny broth.

After the pieces of chicken/turkey are cooled, strip off any remaining large chunks of meat and throw it back in the pot. They should really fall right off the bones by this point, and there will be more than you thought. Let all of it simmer while the rice cooks. Serve the hot broth with a few pieces of meat over the rice. Garnish with more salt and olive oil.

Food isn’t the only thing I look forward to in the time surrounding but not on Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving nights and following afternoons I like long walks in the cold and look to see who has put up lights already. Or just enjoy the cold.


The Friday after is always a great night for drinking. And for karaoke.

What do you do on the Days After?


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