I made up this dish one recent Friday night with what I had on hand, when I was trying to convince my husband to eat a somewhat meatless meal, and I was just too tired to go shopping for something specific. It’s an odd combination. As I said, it was with what I had on hand. While I was making it, my husband was making all kinds of remarks about how weird this was gonna be and just guess who had seconds on this Leftover Turkey or Chicken with Butternut Squash, Asparagus and Persimmons dish?
So I wanted to share this with you today, because although I made this with chicken, surely this will be just as great, if not even better, with your leftover turkey. The key is to season your butternut squash. I actually used a curry spice mix from one of our previous MARY’s secret ingredients boxes, – Mz. Curri – but you can use a combination of curry powder, salt, pepper and some garam masala if you don’t have Mz. Curri around.
So while you’re roasting the squash and onions, tear up the poultry meat from the carcass (I also had a lone leg and used that meat too), give it a shot of heat in the microwave – not too much because the heat from the squash and asparagus will also warm the meat. And then steam your asparagus while you chop the persimmon and voila, fold and combine everything together and you are done – with deliciousness in your bowls – super quick and easy!! Serve it with some whole grain crackers, curl up in front of a fire or movie and you are DONE for the night!! So very simple but such a weird and great combo of flavors, textures and tastes.
I must admit, I have been on a persimmon kick for the past few weeks. They are in season now and last year, I was asked to give a speech at a benefit dinner for a non-profit that feeds the homeless that I have been involved with for many years. And the caterer (who incidentally catered one of our sons high school graduation parties when we lived in NJ – it was great to see her again) had served sliced persimmons on the cheese board and they were so delicious! Firm with an ever so slight crunch, super sweet and a beautiful orange color, I was sold!!
So here I am now, using them in everything, from main courses, to salads (coming up!) and in pasta dishes. They’re so versatile, different and delicious!! Go get some and use in my recipes and experiment on your own, with LOVE, and enjoy!!!
LEFTOVER TURKEY OR CHICKEN WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH, ASPARAGUS & PERSIMMONS – serves 4
Chicken or turkey meat pulled off of a carcass, plus the meat from one leg or whatever pieces you have leftover
½ of a large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut in ½” chunks
1 medium onion, cut into ½” pieces
3 Tbs. olive oil – divided into 2 + 1
1 bunch of thin asparagus
1 Tbs. Mz. Curri seasoning or 1 tsp. curry powder and 1 tsp. garam masala
2 persimmons, cored, sliced and cut into ¼” chunks
Whole grain crackers
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare the squash and combine with the onion. Season with 2 Tbs. olive oil, salt, pepper, Mz Curri seasoning or the curry powder and garam masala. Toss to combine everything. Roast for 25 minutes or until fork tender.
Meanwhile, rip the poultry meat off of the carcass and leg or additional piece into small strips.
Wash and prepare asparagus by bending and breaking them at the point of tenderness. Place them in a large skillet with a ½ “ of water. Cook on high heat until crisp tender, about 5 minutes total. Remove and drain water. Put the asparagus back in the hot skillet to dry off the water. Remove the skillet from the heat and drizzle about 1 Tbs. of olive oil all over and season with salt and pepper.
Warm the chicken or turkey in the microwave for about 1 minute on high heat. Cover and keep warm.
Chop the persimmons and have ready.
When squash and onions are ready, scrape all vegetables and juices into a large warm bowl. Add in the warmed poultry. Place the asparagus on a cutting board and cut into 1.5” lengths and add to the bowl along with the chopped persimmons and all juices.
Fold everything together and portion out into 4 warmed bowls. Serve with LOVE and enjoy!! I served this with a Cava – sparkling Spanish wine and it was delish!!