Leftovers made right (Leftover turkey and broccoli cheese casserole)

I am the queen of leftovers and making something out of nothing,  I got it from my grandma.  She is such a frugal lady and an excellent cook and I am so lucky to still have her around and to have inherited some of her skills through my Dad.  I was inspired by Thanksgiving to make this and also because I accidentally bought a 6 pack of cream cheese and I needed to use it up.

I was playing around on Pinterest, or maybe it was just food and wine and I came across this recipe for Chicken and broccoli casserole.  I was going to make it with a rotisserie chicken like they suggest and then I realized, duh, leftover turkey!  I am posting this now so you can make it with leftover Christmas chicken or turkey!

This was really good, but I think the meat was a little dry.  I waited a few days to make this so that is probably why.  If you make the next day that will clear it up.  Also I decided at the last minute to add bread crumbs to suck up some of the excess liquid.  I had that because I was improvising and did not have the exact measure of other ingredients.  It was a welcome addition regardless, I will add it to the recipe below.  What are your favorite leftover creations?  Full recipe to follow the montage.

The finished product. Leftovers are not always pretty.

The Cast.  Some of my favorite things!
Boil your bones in milk.  I was making this smaller and that's a large turkey wing.
Shred up the leftover meat.  My old camera had a lot of faults, I hope it ends up in nice hands.

Cut up your cream cheese so it melts easier.  
Melty and broccoli, yummy yum yum!
Add in the meat and it is a party!

Bread crumbs make it a bigger party.
As does cheese.  Man this is gonna be good!
After a ride in the oven, here you go.  Still a little milky.
But it tastes real nice!

Leftover Turkey Broccoli and cheese casserole (Adapted from Food and Wine)
Leftover turkey or chicken meat and bones, about 2-3 lbs.
10 ounces frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
4 cups whole milk
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4-1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Shred the meat, reserving the bones.  In a medium heavy oven safe pot, bring the bones and milk to a simmer, then simmer 30 minutes. Discard the bones, then stir the broccoli and cream cheese into the milk and simmer, whisking, until the cream cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Stir in the shredded chicken and top with bread crumbs. Scatter the cheese over the casserole and bake until the filling is bubbling and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.  Enjoy!

Happy Cooking!


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