So I’m back from a holiday hiatus (but still on holiday, actually, since Arbitrary House stays shut down between Christmas and New Year’s, so I’m at home until Jan 5). I shoveled snow and chased toddlers in New Hampshire for a bit, then hopped a train to Princeton to meet Will, where we became victims beneficiaries of an epic Georgantas Pantry Dump. Among the randomness of assorted cookies, candies, cheese, and pints of cream, we were regifted an entire smoked turkey, which had been regifted to them by a family friend. Word has it that this rejected bird, from Greenberg Smoked Turkeys is the finest smoked fowl one can find.

Now, we don’t have any more use for this thing than anyone else, but my New England thriftiness and Southern pity kicked in (poor orphaned hen!) and I couldn’t bear to toss this bird, burnished to a deep, savory tan that would make a South Beach socialite green with envy, into the trash without trying to make some use of it first. So today’s lunch consisted of turkey-and-regifted-cheddar melts, which were tasty but hardly even dented the bird (or the enormous half-wheel of cheese, but that’s another story).

But last night I was browsing through Alice Waters’s The Art of Simple Food, which I received from my parents as a Christmas present, and found a recipe for turkey and kale stew that I thought would adapt wonderfully to use up a good hunk of my smoked gal. The basis of the recipe is to make a broth out of a picked-over roast turkey, so I subbed chicken broth with sautéed onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and mushrooms, shredded the meat of a thigh and drumstick, and added a cup of black-eyed peas and a few pinches of red pepper flakes.

That’s all bubbling together right now, and when our dinner guest arrives I’ll tear up a bunch of kale and stir it in until it’s just wilted, then serve it with hot sauce on the side. It smells wonderful—I think the smoky meat and earthy beans will be a great combination—but I still have 2/3 of a turkey left. Anyone have any bright ideas for using this meat up?

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