Fragrant Turkey Rice

What do you do with leftover Thanksgiving turkey? Zakary Pelaccio mixes it with basmati rice, fragrant spices, and a vinaigrette for a globetrotting, flavorful dish that earns its place on your table, maybe even before the turkey becomes leftovers.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Liver and heart from Thanksgiving turkey, optional, but the liver, especially, adds flavor

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 sprig rosemary, bruised with back of chef's knife

1 tablespoon butter

1 roast turkey leg, or 1 cup chopped leftover turkey meat


1 teaspoon unsalted butter

1 rib celery, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 serrano chilies, minced, remove seeds and veins for less heat

4 cups cooked basmati rice, use short-grain or brown rice as an alternative

2 sprigs sage, chopped, divided

8 sprigs parsley, chopped, divided


1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/2 cup turkey stock, see Hudson Valley Roast Turkey recipe for homemade, or use store-bought


  1. Turkey: Trim the heart, cut the liver in half, and season both with salt. Heat a skillet for several minutes until it's smoking hot. Add grapeseed oil, followed by the heart and liver, and sear, 30 seconds. Turn heat to medium, flip heart and liver, and add garlic clove, rosemary, butter, and a pinch of salt. When the butter is foamy, about 15 seconds, baste the offal as it cooks, another 2–2½ minutes. Offal should be firm to the touch and cooked through. Remove from skillet and set both offal and skillet aside, leaving the remaining fat, garlic, and rosemary in the skillet.
  2. Add butter, celery, onion, garlic, and chili to the same skillet, over medium heat. Sauté until soft, 3–4 minutes. Remove rosemary and set aside. Meanwhile, remove meat and skin from turkey leg. Discard turkey tendons, then roughly chop. Set aside.
  3. Vinaigrette: Put turmeric, fish sauce, maple syrup, vinegar, and turkey stock in a saucepan over medium heat to warm, 1–2 minutes.
  4. Assembly: Put sautéed vegetables in a bowl. Chop liver and heart, and add to vegetables along with turkey meat, skin, and juices from resting gizzards. Add cooked rice and toss everything together. Add half of the herbs and ¾ of the vinaigrette. Toss again. Taste for seasoning and add more vinaigrette if necessary. Garnish with remaining herbs and serve.