Thanksgiving Leftovers: Part Trois (and fin)

single focus farm turkey in  flock.

Thank goodness this is it, Tom. Geez. </gobble>

You may be getting tired of turkey by now, but this old-school Creole dish will be a great send-off for the last of your big bird.

The “piquante” in Turkey Sauce Piquante loosely translate to “pricking.” It means that the sauce should prick the palate, not burn it like a blowtorch. This dish is about restrained heat and the acidity of tomatoes. You and I may differ in what we consider to be restraint and what we consider scorching, so feel free to adjust the cayenne and hot sauce as you like.

The way I learned to make this dish is with three different tomato products – stewed tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato juice. I still do it that way, but I imagine the same result could come from just oven-roasting tomatoes, blending them and cooking them longer, but I still do it that way I was taught. Perhaps I’ll do a post one day about re-working some old recipes. But for now…just humor me and follow along.

My dad used Sauce Piquant recipes to deal with all sorts of leftovers. If there was some meat on the iffy side of its shelf-life it found its way into some variation of this creole stew.

I can think of no better way to give your holiday bird its grand send-off until the next family gathering.

Turkey Sauce Piquante


¾ cup bacon fat, lard or olive oil

4 stalks celery, chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes (fire roasted preferred)

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 cup tomato juice

1 cup dark turkey stock (or chicken stock)

1 quart cooked turkey meat, roughly chopped

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. thyme leaves

1 tsp. paprika

2 whole bay leaves

2 tsp. kosher salt

Hot sauce (Tabasco, Crystal or the like)


In a stock pot or large saucepan, heat ¼ cup of bacon fat and sauté celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic and green onions until they are very soft and little of their original water remains.

While the vegetables are cooking, combine the remaining bacon fat with ½ cup of flour and slowly cook over medium heat until you have a dark brown roux.

Add the roux to the sautéed vegetables in the stock pot and stir until fully incorporated.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato juice and stock and bring to a light boil, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat to a simmer and add turkey meat, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, thyme, paprika, bay leaves and salt.

Continue simmering for 20-30 minutes to achieve desired thickness.

Taste and add salt and hot sauce to taste.

Serve over cooked rice.