Roasted turkey and cranberry sauce packaged in buttery kataifi pastry
So technically speaking, this is not a traditional Greek recipe and it is not something that our parents ever made. In fact, for most large gatherings and holidays it was lamb on the menu instead of turkey, and if we were in the mood for poultry, rooster made an appearance. Our parents also never made cranberry sauce; in fact they only ever tried it when we started to make it ourselves. The North American festive holiday meal of roasted turkey, complete with stuffing, gravy and homemade cranberry sauce became our purview once we began to host celebratory dinners in our homes.
And so it was again this Christmas Eve that we faced a table full of food that was prepared with love, joy and a false sense of how much people could actually eat. Despite feeding many, many mouths, there were a lot of delicious leftovers needing to be dealt with, including loads of turkey and plenty of cranberry sauce. So, we decided to Greek-ify these holiday staples by packaging them up in kataifi dough.
Kataifi dough is the lesser known cousin to phyllo. In fact, it is nothing more than shredded phyllo dough. You can usually find kataifi dough in a well-stocked Greek or Middle Eastern market, either fresh or frozen. If you can find fresh, opt for that. If all that you find is frozen kataifi dough, be sure to defrost it in the refrigerator to prevent if from getting soggy in the packaging as it thaws.
Kataifi is a little tricky to work with and tends to dry out even quicker than phyllo pastry does. For that reason, be sure to work as quickly as you can (bonus: you don’t have to worry about ripping the dough 🙂 ) and keep any kataifi that you are not working with covered with a damp cloth or plastic wrap.
Although our parents do not make these turkey and cranberry kataifi parcels, they do make kataifi dessert and we have used their rolling technique here. To follow their tip you will need a wide rimmed teacup or small bowl You can read the description of how to make the packages in the recipe itself, and you can also consult our video demonstration.
Although we developed this recipe to use up leftover turkey and cranberry sauce, it is good enough to warrant cooking up some turkey or chicken and making a fresh batch of cranberry sauce. Seriously!
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This recipe is one we came up with ourselves, and is categorized under Our Kouppes, just like these:
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Turkey and cranberry kataifi parcels
- 1/2 pound kataifi dough
- 1 cup diced turkey, fully cooked
- 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 2/3 cup chicken stock
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Portion out your kataifi dough into 8 portions. Using your fingers gently spread out the kataifi so that the strips are opened up (meaning, you don't want to have kataifi dough bunched up).
- Find a wide rimmed teacup or small bowl. Lay one portion of the katiafi dough across the teacup, allowing overhand on each end.
- Brush the kataifi dough which is sitting in the teacup with some melted butter. Add 1/8 of the chopped turkey, and 1/8 of the cranberry sauce.
- Use one end of the overhanging kataifi dough to fold over the filling and continue to roll the kataifi over itself in the teacup (watch and listen to the video for a demonstration).
- Transfer carefully to a parchment lined baking pan. Repeat with the remaining ingredients until you end up with 8 parcels. Brush the tops withe melted butter.
- Bake in the middle rack of your oven for approximately 30 - 35 minutes, until the kataifi dough has browned.
- A few minutes before removing your parcels from the oven, add any remaining melted butter to the chicken broth and heat it through.
- Remove pan from the oven and pour the chicken stock over the kataifi parcels. Serve immediately.