That’s right, my first post back after the announcement of my return is a recipe. But it’s around Christmas time, so I figured I better get to this whilst there is still time. You may not know this, but I am something of a culinary mad scientist. I received some of my parent’s cooking skills (90% is from my mom, but even though he is useless at literally every other kind of cooking, my dad was, and maybe still is, quite good with a grill), and combined with my own natural laziness and occasional bursts MacGuyver-like resourcefulness, I have become fairly successful at making pretty decent food mash-ups.
And that leads us here. I went full out and made the turkey pizza idea that had been forming in my head sorta from scratch on Thanksgiving. Turned out I had enough ingredients for two, and they turned out amazing, greater than I ever could have hoped. And Paul of Random Stuff fame requested I post the recipe, since it turned out the one thing he couldn’t have on it proved to be nonessential. So here it is, my turkey pizza recipe.
It should be noted that this is going to be rather open-ended, since besides the turkey, how one goes about almost every other thing is pretty up to them. Also, we didn’t write this down as it was being. Totally winged it, so a couple of details I can’t remember off the top of my head and may need to be updated later if I remember to do it.
Now then, let’s begin…
One 12″ pizza crust-
3/4 lb-to-1 lb of turkey
1 cup of brown (turkey) gravy-
Mashed Potatoes- Not strictly required, but if you like them, they’ll make a great addition.
At Least 4 oz. Shredded Cheese- Went with the mix specifically made for pizzas, but cheese is entirely optional. You will barely be able to taste it, if at all, so if you don’t use it, it’s not a big deal.
2-3 Mushrooms, thinly sliced- You can basically use any toppings that you want on this. I just used what was handy.
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup- If you use the mashed potatoes, this is good to drizzle over the top of that.
Bacon Bits- See above.
Cayenne pepper- See above.
First, the turkey. I picked up a package of boneless turkey loins, since I couldn’t afford a whole turkey. And just having to shred a big thick slab of meat rather than having to tear it off the bone was probably a much easier task. Each one was approximately 4/5 of a lb, and when shredded made plenty for a 12″ pizza.
I also doused it in cayenne before it went in the oven. Just rub it down with part of a stick of butter or whatever substitute that will have the same effect, then dust it with whatever seasonings you’d like.
It took about 1 & 15 minutes to cook the two pieces (about 1 3/5 lbs total) in the oven I think, though I’m not 100% sure on that. Also I don’t remember what the oven was even set on. So I will have to update this part when I find out for sure.
Once it’s hit the proper temp, just take it out and maybe let it cool briefly. Then take a couple forks and start shredding to heart’s content.
Now for the gravy. This will act as your pizza sauce. We just used a packet of instant turkey gravy mix, though I guess you can use whatever kind you like best. It made two cups, which was enough for two pizzas, with plenty to spare, so one cup will be plenty. Basically just follow the directions on the package. You may need to use a bit of flour (probably shouldn’t take more than a teaspoon for a single cup) to thicken it up a bit. I did.
Next, you’ll need a structurally sound pizza crust. Whether you make it from scratch or buy it from the store, you will really be loading it down, so it must be strong enough to hold up. I went with the cheapest option of course, a surprising excellent off-brand two pack (12″, so basically a medium-sized pizza at most places) from the grocery store. Just brush a very thin layer of oil (the type doesn’t really seem to matter) over it and start topping it.
Finally there’s the matter of mashed potatoes. It’s optional, but I found the potatoes really bring it all together. Use whatever kind you like. I went with instant because that’s what I prefer. I can’t help you on how to cook these though, since my mom did these with no input from me. You’ll have to ask her.
The Pizza itself:
First spread the gravy on the crust. Follow it up with a thin layer of cheese (if you’re using it) the turkey, more cheese (this is the layer you’ll use the most), and then any other toppings you decide to use. I used mushrooms and bacon bits because that’s what was handy, but you can use whatever you like. And once you’ve put on the other toppings, put another thin layer of cheese over that. At any point, you may add any spices you have an affinity for.
Then you’ll top it off with the mashed potatoes, if you chose to make them. You can add them after the pizza is cooked or before it goes in the oven. I can’t verify it for sure, because we didn’t really think of it till later and didn’t get to properly test it, but I think the potatoes will brown if you put them on before throw the pizza in the oven. Just glop it on and spread it out as best you can.
I mentioned above that the potatoes really seemed to bring the already surprisingly good thing together, and I really mean it. With the potatoes, it’s basically all your main Thanksgiving leftovers except the cranberry sauce (and maybe the green beans and corn), and I’m not sure if you’d really want to mix that stuff with it anyway (except maybe the corn, that might not be too bad).
Anyway, actually cooking the pizza itself won’t take too long, since your main toppings are already pretty much done anyway. Should only take 10-15 minutes on either 400 or 425. Again, I’ll have to verify the temp. No one was writing this down as it was being made. I’m pretty sure the timing is right though. I’m also unsure what adding the potatoes before you put it in the oven will do to the time.
And aside from maybe tossing a lil more gravy of some kind on top of the potatoes (I used cream of chicken), that be that.
Sadly I have no pictures to show how it should look when it’s done, though I will try to get some if I get to do it again for Christmas.
The final cost of this endeavor? For two 12″ pizzas, it cost around $21. The cost of living here seems to be quite low though, so I don’t know what it would be in a bigger or more well-to-do city where things are more expensive in general.
Health-wise, the parent lady also came to the conclusion that the pizza actually isn’t too bad for you, and even better without the cheese, which isn’t a necessity anyway.
Making something fairly involved like this goes much quicker & more smoothly when you have the help of an experienced cook backing you up. As long as they don’t try to take over of course. Ha.
Finally, let me know if you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer them. And if you try it out, let me know how the recipe works out for you!
Thanks for letting me indulge my culinary mad scientist.
Until our next…
Well, the big day is here. I hope everyone enjoys their Christmas and the last few days of this tumultuous decade to the fullest. Time keeps marching on, but always hang on to the good days, the good times, the little things… all life’s victories great and small. I hope that, not just today, but everyday is worth hanging on to for all of you. And for today, may you be blessed with many cards. Hehe..
Have a safe and happy holiday everyone. 🙂