Kitchen Adventures: New life for leftover turkey

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Food column by Becca Owsley

By Becca Owsley

Even with Black Friday encroaching upon Thanksgiving, the holiday is still mainly about spending time with family and a glorious feast of food.


After the food fest is over the best part of the holiday arrives — leftovers.

There’s just something about warming up leftovers the day after, sometimes several days after, that makes them taste even better.

With leftover turkey, placing a big slab on a sandwich is one way to go but I ran across a recipe for a turkey cranberry wreath a few years ago that can turn leftover turkey into a gourmet treat.

The first step is pretty easy. Chop two cups of leftover turkey. Mix it with shredded Swiss cheese, dried cranberries, parsley, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and pepper. The recipe also calls for sliced celery but I’m not a fan of celery and usually leave it out.

Next is the hard part, but not too hard. I’m giving instructions for building the wreath with the lessons I’ve learned.

Unroll two packages of refrigerated crescent rolls and separate into 16 triangles. I usually do this one package at a time so they don’t get mangled in the process.

Arrange eight triangles in a circle on a large round baking stone or sheet with wide ends 3 inches from the edge of the baking stone and the points facing the outside, extending off the edge of the baking stone. Visualize an eight-pointed star with a big circular opening in the middle.

Then arrange the remaining triangles in the center of the baking stone matching wide ends with triangles already in place. The points will overlap in the center.

Using a small dough roller, roll over seams of triangles where the wide ends meet, creating a smooth surface for filling. Do not seal the center triangles because you are going to cross them over the filling later.

Next, scoop the filling where the triangles meet evenly around the wreath.

Starting with the last triangle laid in the center, bring the point of the triangle across the filling and then bring the point of the opposite side diagonally across the filling with the filling exposed some. Repeat this until you’ve gone all the way around the wreath.

The result is a delicious snack for an after Thanksgiving gathering or something to treat yourself with after a long day of shopping.

I took it to a gathering of friends last week and was told I could bring it with me every time we got together. Your friends might tell you the same if you try this festive treat.

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Turkey Cranberry Wreath

  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 ¼ cups (5 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
  • ½ cup sliced celery
  • ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons honey Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 cans of refrigerated crescent roles
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine turkey, one cup of cheese, celery, cranberries, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard and black pepper and mix well.

Prepare wreath according to previous instructions.

Brush with egg white and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. 

Source: The Pampered Chef’s “All the Best” cookbook