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RBR Tailgating: Leftovers

If for no other reason, you have to read this post because of the very high probability that I will try to make a pun with the phrase “quit cold turkey.”

"In this rivalry you can throw out the record books!"

Well, no. If you believe that because the Alabama Crimson Tide is playing the reprobates from Auburn some equalizing force is in play you have been smoking a bit too much tryptophan. Upsets happen, but not so often as the "Ima hang up and listen," crowd would have you believe.

I like to pretend that there is nothing formulaic about my tailgating posts, but there is an undeniable basic format. I ramble and indulge tangents for about five to six hundred words before attempting to justify a relationship between a recipe and whatever half kilo-worth-o-words I managed to string together without embarrassing myself and by extension rbr.

The blueprint is basically 1) blather 2) all important segue that is really the only bit that takes any thought 3) how-to manual.

Unfortunately this week's 1) blather was meant to be a refutation of the idea that rivalries, the Iron Bowl in particular, defy the precedents that odds makers rely on.

If you Google "Iron Bowl Upsets," as I so eagerly did an hour ago you will see that the third link below the Google "In The News" strata is to our own rollbamaroll by outsidethelines from Nov. 25, 2009.

My intent was to look at the record, ignore all the games between teams that are a few wins and losses apart, and point out that the underdog rarely wins. I've looked at the records before and am very comfortable pointing out the obvious.

I was not planning on the type of analysis that outsidethelines was willing to dive into, but he covered the same ground some billions of pixels ago. Witness:

"From the outset, seriously, how many legitimate major upsets have we seen in this rivalry the past several decades? I mean true upsets where one team was significantly better than the other but yet somehow managed to find a way to lose. How many?

The only one I can really think of was in 1984. That was Ray Perkins' second year at the Capstone, and it went poorly. Injuries hit us hard that year, we were young and inexperienced at the quarterback position, and we weren't a particularly talented team at any rate, so we staggered into the Iron Bowl with a meager 4-6 record. We started off the year 1-4, and it was our first losing season since 1957. Auburn, on the other hand, came in led by Bo Jackson and needing just one more win to earn a berth in the Sugar Bowl. 'Bama played them close, though, and thanks to three key Auburn miscues in the fourth quarter -- (1) a dumb decision by Dye not to kick a glorified extra point trailing by two, (2) a blown assignment by Bo Jackson on the fourth down play, i.e. Wrong Way Bo, and (3) a missed Auburn field goal at the end of the game -- the Tide somehow pulled off the upset, 17-15."

It's a great post. I surrender to the superior effort. I don't think it's indicative of a downward trend, but who knows.

If you are at all worried about this week's game, take a moment and read. Relax. Think about the high school offense. Meditate on the efficacy of the arm tackle. JJ for Heisman. Gum.

So, as per nothing new, we expect the Iron Bowl to play out as the Iron Bowl generally plays out. We have little to add to what others have contributed, so onto leftovers.

This is normally the part where I write the title of the recipe in big bold print, but I've got a myriad, if three can be considered a myriad, of things to do with your uneaten bird and there are very few necessary measurements.

Pot Pie

Turkey Pot Pie

In fact the only measurement I can think of that really matters is in making a veloute. It's one of the basic five "mother" sauces of French cooking as defined by Escoffier, who was just a chef, but as far as being a chef went, he was pretty successful at it. He still looms large over the culinary world in a way that a hell of a lot of people who are just as dead as he is do not.

Take three tablespoons of butter and over medium heat whisk in three tablespoons of all purpose flour and then slowly, a half cup at a time, add and whisk in two cups of chicken or turkey stock. Now you have veloute. I like a few grinds of pepper at this point, but it's not necessary.

When smooth, add chopped onion, celery, carrots, turkey, garlic, a few peas, or whatever else grabs your fancy and simmer until the bird is basically strands of meat.


To make puff pastry, start with good quality bread flour and... hah! Just kidding. That sounds like baking. Unless the end result is pizza dough, baking is a dispiriting exercise that almost all of you will fail at. That's not to say that an elite few can elevate baking to an art. I just think that if you aren't brilliant at it, you really suck.  If you don't have informed opinions on the age of a yeast starter, avoid baking like the plague and leave it to your betters.

Decent puff pastry can be had in the frozen section of most grocery stores.  Obey the directions and place a properly cut section over veloute-turkey-vegemable mixture in an oven proof bowl and cook till the dough is flakey.

open pie

Turkey Tetrazzini

I have read that there was some debate over whether this dish originated in New York or San Francisco. No one ever claimed it was Italian. It was named after Luisa Tetrazzini, opera singer extraordinaire and one of the few good things to come out of the same era as that buttinski, Wilson.


Boil a pound of spaghetti in heavily salted water and drain. Return to a pot, stir in one can (10.5 oz.) of condensed cream of celery soup. Add shredded turkey and pimentos to taste. Spread a layer of pasta and such in a 9" x 13" pan, top with shredded cheddar, layer again with pasta and then cheddar. Pour milk ¾ to the top of the pasta and put into a preheated oven at 425˚ for 15 minutes.

I'm fine with variations that add mushrooms and hot peppers.

Simplest idea ever

chipped in a pan

Put precooked shredded meat in a pan with chicken stock (or turkey stock) and heat with a bit of sriracha. Serve atop toast. Figure out a way to go wrong.

Chipped on a Plate

I sort of reverse leftover my turkey experience this year. We braised a few legs on Monday to make the "leftovers" for this site. Thursday dinner will be at my dad's with no foodstuffs going home with us.

Our regular game watching crew has agreed on pepperoni pizza for Saturday. If William Bradford were given the choice...

Roll Tide, no injuries, and arm tackles galore.