There's no tastier way to use leftover roast turkey than integrating it into a luscious and creamy fricassee sauce. This recipe provides all the information you need, from seasoning the sauce to get the perfect balance of richness, umami, and acidity to valuable tips and serving ideas.
Having cooked turkey at your disposal means you can get a delightful post-Thanksgiving or Boxing Day meal on the table in just 20 minutes. Plus, like my Leftover Creamy Turkey Curry this recipe uses just one pan, to keep washing up to a minimum.
Got leftover sprouts on your hands too? Check out this warming 20-minute Brussels Sprouts Curry.
The post contains additional information and helpful tips to ensure the recipe turns out great the first time. Please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end if you are in a hurry!
3 reasons why you'll love this recipe:
- A creamy, rich and delicious one-pan meal.
- A great way to use Christmas or Thanksgiving leftovers
- Ready in 20 minutes
Traditional French Fricassee
Fricassée is a classic French cooking technique that involves stewing pieces of meat (usually poultry, but it can also be used for other meats like veal or rabbit) in a white sauce made from the meat's own juices, along with broth or cream. The meat is typically first sautéed in butter or oil to brown it slightly and then simmered in the sauce until it's tender and fully cooked.
The sauce is usually flavored with aromatic ingredients such as onions, mushrooms, herbs, and sometimes wine or lemon juice. Vegetables like carrots, peas, or potatoes can also be added.
Fricassee is a great way to use turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner because it revitalizes the meat's tenderness and infuses it with rich flavors from the sauce. Plus, because meat is already cooked, you get to enjoy a delectably creamy and flavorful stew in just 20 minutes.
🛒 Ingredient notes:
- Mushrooms: Give the stew a rich umami flavor. Widely available button (cremini) mushrooms work well as their mild flavor complements the rich and creamy sauce. However, you can also use other varieties like shiitake or oyster mushrooms for a more unique and robust flavor profile.
- Fresh herbs: Parsley and thyme.
- White wine: Choose a dry white wine with good acidity, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. Avoid sweet wines that will make the flavors in the dish unbalanced.
- Chicken stock/broth: You can use powdered store-bought stock or homemade.
- Heavy cream/double cream: To make the sauce rich and creamy.
- Leftover cooked turkey breasts and thighs.
Note that the recipe has not been tested with all the substitutions and variations below, so the results cannot be guaranteed.
- White wine: Vermouth also has high acidity and a complex flavor profile that can add depth and flavor to the dish. For a non-alcoholic option, you can switch the white wine for the same volume of chicken stock. But note that it won't add the same acidity and depth of flavor to the dish, so you may want to add a little lemon juice to give the sauce some tanginess.
- Heavy cream: You can swap this for single/pouring cream or crème fraîche. This will make the sauce a little lighter and not quite as rich.
- Other cooked leftover meat. Like chicken or pork.
- Toss in some leftover veggies like carrots, broccoli or cauliflower.
- Vegetarian option: Increase the amount of mushrooms.
🧑🍳 Recipe steps
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions! *
Step 1: Cook the onions in melted butter for a few minutes until translucent.
Step 2: Add the mushrooms and sauté until brown. Then add the garlic and thyme and cook for a minute or two until fragrant.
Step 3: Add flour and white wine and simmer until the wine is reduced by half.
Step 4: Slowly add the chicken stock and simmer on a low heat for five minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the leftover turkey and simmer for a few more minutes until warmed through. Then serve immediately topped with fresh parsley.
🍽️ Serving suggestions
- Carbs: Mashed potato is my go-to. Pasta, rice, and fresh crusty bread are also good options.
- Veggies: My first choice is carrots as their sweetness complements the richness of the sauce, but you can also serve with green beans, snow peas, frozen peas, asparagus and broccoli or a side salad.
- Wine: Pair with a glass of the white wine used in the recipe or another complementary wine, such as a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.
- Simmer gently to avoid overcooking the turkey until it's tough and dry.
- Season Well: Taste and season the fricassee with salt and pepper as needed.
- Adjust the thickness of the sauce: You can thin it with a bit of broth or cream. If it's too thin, you can thicken it with a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with water) or a roux (butter and flour mixture).
🙋 Recipe FAQs
It is typically made from a combination of the meat's own juices, broth, and cream. It often includes aromatic ingredients like onions, mushrooms, and herbs, and it can be seasoned with white wine or lemon juice to create a flavorful, creamy sauce that complements the meat or poultry in the dish.
The term "fricassee" is believed to originate from the French word "fricassee," which means "to frizzle" or "to fry." This name likely comes from the initial step of browning the meat in butter or oil before simmering it in the sauce.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It's best to gently reheat on the stove to avoid overcooking the turkey. When storing leftovers, please consider how long you have had the leftover turkey. If it's a couple of days old or has been left out at room temperature for a while, it might best not to risk it.
😋 Check out my other leftover turkey and chicken recipes
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Leftover Turkey Fricassee
- 2 tbsp (30 g) butter
- 1 onion
- ¾ cup (250 g) mushrooms (Note 1)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 3 tbsp (25 g) all-purpose flour (plain flour)
- ½ cup (½ cup) white wine (Note 2)
- 3 cups (700 ml) chicken stock (Note 3)
- ½ cup (120 ml) heavy or double cream (Note 4)
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 3/3 cups (800 g) leftover turkey (Note 5)
- fresh parsley
- Heat a large skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt.
- Add the chopped onion and cook until it becomes translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and cook them for a few minutes until they start to brown.
- Stir in the minced garlic and thyme sprigs, cooking for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Sprinkle the flour over the mushroom mixture and stir well to combine.
- Pour in the white wine, stirring constantly, and allow it to simmer for a few minutes until it has reduced by half.
- Slowly add the chicken stock while stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
- Once the sauce has thickened slightly, add the cream and black pepper. Stir to combine, and let it simmer for another 5 minutes to allow the flavours to meld. Taste and season with salt as needed.
- Add the leftover turkey to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the turkey is heated through and the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency.
- Remove the thyme sprigs and discard them.
- Serve the leftover turkey fricassee with cooked rice, mashed potatoes, or pasta. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley for a burst of color and flavor.
- Mushrooms: Widely available button (cremini) mushrooms work well as their mild flavor complements the rich and creamy sauce. However, you can also use other varieties like shiitake or oyster mushrooms for a more unique and robust flavor profile.
- White wine: Choose a dry white wine with good acidity, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. Avoid sweet wines that will make the flavors in the dish unbalanced. You can also use vermouth or for a non-alcoholic option, you can switch the white wine for the same volume of chicken stock. But note that it won't add the same acidity and depth of flavor to the dish, so you may want to add a little lemon juice to give the sauce some tanginess.
- Chicken stock/broth: You can use powdered store-bought stock or homemade.
- Heavy cream/double cream: You can swap this for single/pouring cream or crème fraîche. This will make the sauce a little lighter and not quite as rich.
- Leftover turkey: You can also use leftover chicken or pork.