This is what the professional chefs will be doing with their Christmas leftovers

    This is what the professional chefs will be doing with their Christmas leftovers

    By Ella Walker . Published 2020-12-24


    From bubble and squeak, to curries and risotto – don’t chuck out your festive leftovers.

    Tonnes of turkey, piles of roast potatoes and bowls and bowls of Brussels leftover post December 25? These professional chefs have a few ideas for what you can do with all those day old veggies and turkey offcuts…

    Who? Tom Aikens, Michelin starred chef and founder of Tom’s Kitchen.

    Top tip: “My favourite use of old tired looking vegetables is a good old British vegetable curry, which can of course get funked up as much as you like. Cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut, fennel, carrot, courgette, cabbage – anything goes. Made with a meat or veg stock, coconut milk, natural yogurt – whatever takes your fancy. But then all the spices you can use are endless; cumin, caraway, turmeric, coriander, mace, fenugreek, mustard seeds, add some toasted seeds from nigella, sesame, pumpkin, sprouted grains. Add some red lentils or old fruit like banana apple or mango, it all works.”

    Who? Jason Atherton, Michelin-starred owner of The Social Company restaurant group.

    Top tip: “I would take all of the leftover vegetables (apart from the Brussels, as it never works with those), grate all of them, mix with flour and egg and a little smoked paprika, slice the potatoes and then layer the whole thing up in a non-stick frying pan. Then add a couple of beaten eggs and bake in the oven till golden. Slice into eight and serve with a mixed salad with Dijon dressing.”

    Who? Massimo Bottura, Italian Michelin-starred chef and author of Bread Is Gold (Phaidon).

    Top tip: “Turkey broth is fantastic as a stock to add to risottos, thicken soups and as a base for delicious passatelli (clear soup with pasta). I roast the turkey bones on a large baking sheet with onions (skin and all), green carrot tops and parsley for about 45 minutes on 180C, checking them every 10 minutes or so to make sure they don’t burn. I turn them over half way through to ensure an even roasting. When roasted, I put the bones into a pot and cover with cold water. I add fresh onions (no peel this time!), more carrots and celery and if I have a spare parmigiana reggiano rind lying around – add that in too. That simmers on a medium low heat for 40 minutes, the bones and veg taken out, then it’s ready to be used or frozen for later use.”

    Who? Theo Randall, head chef at Theo Randall at the InterContinental.

    Top tip: “One of my favourite ways to use up Christmas leftovers is making a good stock from the bones and carcass of the turkey, goose or duck and then using that to make a risotto. If you have some chestnuts, chop them finely and add to the risotto with some butter and Parmesan. Make a little extra risotto and roll the leftovers into balls, cover them in some flour, beaten egg then roll in breadcrumbs and shallow fry to make arancini. Serve these with a glass of prosecco with a slice of orange peel for a delicious after-Christmas treat.”

    Who? James Durrant, executive chef at The Game Bird at The Stafford London.

    Top tip: “Save all the leftovers from your roast meat, vegetables, the lot. Chop it all up on a board then into a hot frying pan. Fry it for five to six minutes, stirring all the time, then add a splash of gravy. Reduce, then serve into bowls topped with a fried egg or gratinate with cheese for the best bubble and squeak ever. This is a boxing day treat in our house.”

    Who? Richard Bertinet, founder of cookery school The Bertinet Kitchen.

    Top tip: “Stale bread is great for toast but on the rare occasions that we have any bread left over, we blitz it into breadcrumbs which can be used in so many dishes, but at Christmas are essential for making good stuffing for leftover turkey sandwiches.”

    Who? Francesco Mazzei, chef patron at Fiume, Radici and Sartoria.

    Top tip: “For something really easy, make a salad with green leaves and watercress adding leftover turkey flesh, all dressed with oil, lemon juice, honey and mustard, then serve with a soft-boiled egg. Or go for a turkey kebab, mince the turkey leftovers and add avocado, mozzarella, mayo, salt & pepper and chilli. Heat a soft, thin flatbread (like a tortilla) in the oven until warm and then place the mixture in the centre of the flatbread. Roll and enjoy.”

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