How to transform Christmas leftovers like a Michelin chef

From turkey fried rice to mince pie ice cream.. How to transform Christmas leftovers like a Michelin chef

Christmas dinner is done for another year, and even if it feels like you’ve just spent 24 hours stuffing yourself silly, chances are your fridge is crammed full of leftovers.

We waste 270,000 tons of food every Christmas, research has found, including the equivalent of two million turkeys and 74 million mince pies.

So as part of The Mail on Sunday’s War On Food Waste campaign, we asked six of Britain’s top chefs for creative ways to turn everything from cold roasties to those untouched Brussels sprouts into delicious Boxing Day dishes.

And if it all seems too much effort after yesterday’s exertions, don’t fret – leftover turkey can be stored in the fridge for up to two days, and if you haven’t used it all by then, just freeze the rest.

The freezer is your best friend in the fight against food waste. It acts like a pause button – food won’t deteriorate and most bacteria can’t grow in it.

Label and date food when you put it in your freezer and use within three to six months.

Defrost in the fridge or use a microwave on defrost setting, but remember the golden rule: only reheat once. 

Turkey special fried rice

Forget that turkey curry you rustle up every year. Peter Lloyd, chef patron at the award-winning Asian-inspired Sticky Mango restaurant in London, recommends his turkey special fried rice instead.

Forget that turkey curry you rustle up every year. This turkey special fried rice is the perfect recipe to make use of your meaty leftovers

‘You can substitute the turkey for goose, duck, chicken, beef – any meat, really, so it’s a very versatile dish for Boxing Day,’ he says.

You’ll need

● 200g cooked and dried jasmine rice

● 100g shredded meat

● 50g chopped bok choy

● 25g carrot julienne

● 15g sambal oelek chilli paste

● 25g XO sauce

● 1 duck egg

● 3 garlic flowers

● 10g ginger and garlic crumbs

● 30ml veg oil/ duck fat/goose fat

Serves Two

Heat up oil or fat in a wok until very hot.

Add meat, carrot and bok choy, fry for 1 minute.

Add XO sauce and sambal for 10 seconds, followed by jasmine rice and half a teaspoon of salt.

Once hot, place all contents into a bowl to shape.

Turn out on to a plate.

Fry the duck egg.

When the egg white is cooked, sprinkle the garlic and ginger crumbs over the egg white only, then place the fried egg on top of the rice.

Tom Kerridge’s potato and veggie hash with fried egg

Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge, above, has teamed up with footballer Marcus Rashford to serve up Christmas leftover recipes that cost less than £10. Here’s his twist on the classic bubble and squeak.


Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge, above, has teamed up with footballer Marcus Rashford to serve up Christmas leftover recipes that cost less than £10

You’ll need

● 1kg potatoes

● 4 carrots

● Half a packet of sage and onion stuffing

● 5 tbsp vegetable oil

● 6 eggs

● Seasoning

Serves six

Place a clean tea towel over a baking tray and coarsely grate the carrots and potatoes on to it.

Season with salt and massage the veg together, then leave for five minutes.

Draw up the sides of the towel to create a bag with the mixture inside.

Over the sink, squeeze the towel to drain as much liquid as possible.

Tip the veg on to the baking tray and stir in the stuffing mix.

Preheat oven to 190C/gas mark 5 and place an oven-proof frying pan on the hob with half the oil.

Press the hash mix into the pan, making sure you level it out as much as possible.

Slowly fry the hash for around 10 minutes to set the crust and partially cook.

Then put the frying pan in the oven and bake for one hour to an hour and a half.

Once the hash is ready, flip it on to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Pour the remaining oil into the pan, crack in the eggs and slowly cook for 4 to 5 minutes, spooning hot fat over the yolks.

When ready, cut the hash into chunky wedges and serve the fried eggs on the side.

Serve with any leftover turkey and a dollop of ketchup or brown sauce.

Mince pie ice cream with cranberry drizzle

Italian chef Antonio Sanzone has the perfect solution if you’ve overdone it on the mince pies: make ice cream with them.

He says: ‘This recipe is also great with leftover panettone, bread-and-butter pudding or any sweet dessert.’

Mince pie gelato is perfect for those with leftover panettone and bread-and-butter pudding

You’ll need

For ice cream:

● 180g whole milk

● 150g double cream

● 40g caster sugar

● 3 egg yolks

● 8 mince pies

For cranberry drizzle:

● 200g cranberry sauce

● 100g sparkling water

Serves six

Blend the mince pies to a coarse crumble and sauté in a pan until the filling starts to caramelise.

Combine the rest of the ice cream ingredients in a saucepan and heat until a custard-like cream.

Remove from the heat and, once at room temperature, add the mince pie crumble.

Place in a container in the freezer and mix every 15 minutes until set.

For the cranberry drizzle, mix the ingredients and bring to boil for 5 to 10 minutes.

Pass through a fine sieve and cool to room temperature before drizzling over the ice cream.

Chocolate pantry bites with fruit and nut top

Chef Bettina Campolucci Bordi, a plant-based specialist who is big on waste-free cooking, says: ‘For surplus chocolate and nuts, I recommend chocolate pantry bites. Perfect for gifting – or keeping in the fridge.’

The chocolate pantry bites are perfect for gifting to your loved ones or keeping in the fridge

You’ll need

● 50g mixed nuts and dried fruits, roughly chopped

● 170g leftover chocolate

Serves six 

Line a baking tray with greaseproof baking paper.

Melt the chocolate (the easiest way is to microwave at 70 per cent power for one minute).

Drop tablespoons of melted chocolate in various places across the baking tray and flatten them slightly, leaving enough space between each one so that they don’t merge into each other.

Sprinkle half a teaspoon of the nuts and fruit mix on top of each chocolate round. Put straight into the fridge to set overnight.

Ps… tree needles spruce up salmon

Believe it or not, the needles from your Christmas tree are a brilliant way to flavour salmon fillets.

Chef Paul Wedgwood, who runs a restaurant on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, says he first used pine needles when he was a boy with the Scouts to make tea.

You’ll need

● 250g washed fir needles

● 50g caster sugar

● 10g pink peppercorns

● 30g dried kelp

● Salmon fillets 

Serves eight

Finely grind the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle.

Chop up dried fir needles.

Mix both in a small bowl and add some salt, sugar and kelp.

On a tray, spread out half the mixture and place the salmon skin-side down on top.

Spread the remaining mixture evenly on the fish, then tightly wrap and place in the fridge for 12 hours.

When you remove salmon from the tray, rinse under running water and pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat the oven and cook the cured salmon wrapped in tin foil at 180C/gas mark 4 for about 7-10 minutes, or however you prefer.

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