Happy day-after Thanksgiving! Do you have tons of turkey in your fridge right now? Maybe you’re thinking about a turkey curry or risotto or soup? May I suggest the humble Thanksgiving sandwich? But this isn’t just any leftover turkey sandwich. It is (in my opinion) the very best sandwich you can make with your Thanksgiving leftovers.
And I don’t say that lightly. While I was at school I worked for a few years in a pretty great sandwich place and I’ve eaten a LOT of sandwiches over the years so I’d consider myself somewhat of a sandwich aficionado.
A good sandwich needs to be absolutely mouthwatering, leave you wanting just one more bite, it can’t be too soggy or too dry, and you have to think about the texture too – see, there’s a lot to think about in making a great sandwich. Here’s how I make mine:
You have to start with really great bread. Either soft fluffy white bread, or my preference is for lightly toasted bread (for a little crunch). For this I grab an English Muffin loaf by Maine bakery, Big Sky Bread (click here for more information including locations). It’s dense but not too dense and toasts up perfectly.
Gather your sandwich filling ingredients. I have leftover turkey, leftover homemade sage, onion and sausage stuffing, and leftover bacon (it was covering the turkey as it cooked yesterday and preventing it from drying out). All tasty ingredients but used alone there’s the potential for your sandwich to be a little dry.
Avoid the sin of the dry sandwich by using cranberry relish and mixing up some mayo with finely shredded Brussel sprouts. Other options would be a little mashed avocado or maybe a spicy mayo. If your turkey is dry and you happen to have any leftover gravy, don’t be shy, brush it with a little of the gravy for extra deliciousness.
And now the big secret to a non-soggy sandwich – BUTTER! Yes, you read it right. Butter isn’t really there for the flavor (although isn’t everything better with butter?), nope it’s there for it’s water-repelling properties. Cast your mind back to Chemistry lessons. Water and oil don’t mix right? That super thin layer of butter acts like a protective layer for your bread, stopping water from your mayo or cranberry relish seeping into the absorbent bread. Seriously – try it! Also highly recommended for chicken or tuna salad sandwiches. I like to toast the bread and let it cool slightly and then just spread a thin layer of butter:
Assemble the sandwiches. It’s your sandwich so alter the fillings/quantities as you like:
– thin layer of butter on toasted bread
– layer of stuffing (should be cooked of course!)
– spread a spoon of mayo/Brussel sprout mixture
– turkey slices
– cranberry relish or sauce (you can mix this with mayo but it goes a weird pink color)
– crispy bacon
– top with buttered toast slice
What are you doing with your turkey leftovers? I’m currently simmering the turkey carcass to make flavorful stock for soup later!