Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Congee

Ok, people! I am pretty certain that you’ve never seen this take on Thanksgiving leftovers before, and I am super excited to let you in on our family tradition. For as long as I’ve known Bill and his family, which is almost 30 years now, Thanksgiving Turkey Congee has been and will always be our breakfast on the day after Thanksgiving.

This morning, like any other post-Thanksgiving morning, we had this congee for breakfast and re-photographed it!

Use Your Turkey Carcass!

Most people throw away the turkey carcass after all is said and done. Smarter people make stock with it. And the smartest people make congee. Yep. We said it!

If you don’t have any special plans for that turkey carcass, you need to make this rice congee, because it is insanely good. I look forward to it more than the turkey itself.

Don’t get me wrong. I love our turkey, and it is honestly the best-tasting turkey I’ve ever had. With that said, I love this turkey congee more. But that’s just me.

Did I also mention that this has to be the easiest congee recipe ever? It is.

Waste Not, Want Not!

The best part is, the only leftovers you need are the carcass, stripped of most of the meat, and the veggies at the bottom of your roasting pan.

You get to keep any leftover turkey meat you have for sandwiches, pot pies, and other leftover recipe ideas you have planned.

The point is, there will be absolutely no waste when all is said and done. You want to get all the goodness you can out of that bird!

Leftover Turkey Congee: Recipe Instructions

Now that you know my feelings on this matter, let me show you how easy it is to make. You’ll only need a few things:

  • your leftover turkey carcass and all the vegetables at the bottom of your roasting pan (i.e. celery, carrots, onions)
  • water
  • white rice (you can also use brown rice)
  • Salt, to taste
  • white pepper, to taste
  • chopped scallion
  • chopped cilantro

In a very large stock pot, add the turkey carcass and all the veggies. Pour in the water and the rice, and bring everything to a boil.

Let it simmer for 90 minutes, until the rice has kind of bloomed and opened up.

Use tongs to remove any bones, etc.

Removing turkey carcass bones from pot of congeeRemoving turkey carcass bones from pot of congee

You can control how thin or thick your congee is by adding more or less rice. I like mine a bit thinner, so I put in less rice (1 cup).

Stirring Pot of Turkey CongeeStirring Pot of Turkey Congee

Season with salt, white pepper, and garnish with scallion and cilantro.

Thanskgiving Turkey CongeeThanskgiving Turkey Congee

How easy was that, seriously?

Now, that’s the way we’ve always done it. Congee recipes vary and if you want a really smooth congee, you can do it a slightly different way.

See below!

Alternative Method for smoother congee

Rather than adding the rice to the pot at the beginning, simply add the carcass, vegetables, and water to the stock pot. Simmer for 2 hours until you have a rich stock.

Remove any large bones and then strain the stock into a clean pot. Add the rice, bring to a boil, and simmer for another 90 minutes. Stir in some leftover shredded turkey, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with scallions and cilantro.

It takes a bit longer, but if you prefer your congee smoother and (for lack of a better word) cleaner, it’s another way to go!

Thanksgiving Turkey CongeeThanksgiving Turkey Congee

If you’re not into congee, which I highly doubt as you’re still reading this post, definitely at least make stock with the turkey carcass. Just don’t let it go to waste!

Turkey CongeeTurkey Congee


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