The morning after

    It’s the turkey time of year, and even if you aren’t roasting a bird, turkey sandwiches have always been a Friday-after-Thanksgiving favorite. Eating a sandwich out of leftovers is standard procedure for many turkey enthusiasts, even if you can’t wait until the next day.

    What a treat it is to put together a quick, satisfying sandwich after laboring over The Meal. Or perhaps this is the year for a casual Thanksgiving, and a solid sandwich with homemade cranberry chutney will be all the turkey you need.

    Fortunately, a delicious sandwich recipe is good all year round. Having an abundance of freshly roasted turkey around will give you and your guests a chance to find your favorite combination. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself roasting a turkey breast on its own just to have some on hand for sandwiches.

    Here are a few tips for starting out with the best possible ingredients and making sandwiches that just might possibly eclipse yesterday’s feast.

    Although home-roasted bird usually tastes best, a rotisserie chicken is a worthy substitute. And it’s cheaper – usually about $6 and ready to eat. Try the Costco version. Remarkably tender and moist, it makes shockingly good sandwiches or salads. Check Safeway and Fred Meyer, too. These birds are not huge, but can easily feed three to four people.    

    If using leftovers, take the meat off the bone as quickly as possible. Store your leftover meat in a sealed container in the fridge until ready to use. Dry meat is the enemy of the sandwich guru.

    If the breast meat is dry, it isn’t the end of the world. It is a challenge to cook the breast and the leg meat perfectly at the same time. Toss the breast meat in a bit of vinaigrette or drizzle with a bit of high quality olive oil to gain another flavor dimension and some of the lost moisture.

    Make your own cranberry relish. Try the recipe below, and if you’ve never had it before, the tangy, sweet sauciness together with creamy cheese and smoky meat may just become a year round favorite.

    Make sandwiches just before serving. Waiting too long dries out bread and increases the chances that you’ll end up with soggy bread. Be sure to put any wet ingredients (tomatoes, roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes, etc.) in between barrier layers of cheese or lettuce.

    Chances are that bread used on Friday was bought on Wednesday, so either freeze in an airtight container the day it is purchased or toast right before putting the sandwich together. Refreshing frozen bread is easy: wrap in foil and toss in a 375 degree oven until warmed through. Unwrap and leave in the oven for a few minutes longer if a crispy crust is desired.

    Dress up leftovers by making one element of the sandwich from scratch. Try a special mayo or dressing, assemble a salad, or add a freshly prepared ingredient, like crisp bacon or roasted vegetables, which will lend a contrasting texture. Turkey goes with just about anything savory, and adding fresh flavors like herbs will help shake the feeling of repeating a meal.

    Be prepared. Who wants to go to the market the day after a holiday? Add to your turkey day list good bread and all the special sandwich ingredients you’ll need. Get experimental with breads – try rye, challah, sourdough or yeasted corn, especially if guests will be assembling their own meals. If a bakery is on your list of places to shop on Wednesday, call on Tuesday to reserve the loaves you like as most will start to run out of the best choices early in the day.


Classic Turkey BLT plus avocado

Sliced, seeded sandwich bread, toasted if preferred

Sliced turkey breast


Bacon, cooked crisp

Tomato, sliced

Avocado, sliced







Turkey with homemade chutney and Brie


This sandwich is great with almost any bread. Put the Brie in the freezer for about a half hour before slicing
– it is much easier to cut when firm.


Sliced challah bread (a rich bread with eggs and butter that’s especially tender)

Sliced turkey breast

Brie cheese, sliced

2 tablespoons cranberry chutney (recipe below)

Lettuce leaves

Mayo on both slices of bread


Cranberry Chutney


Double this recipe if you’ll be feeding a crowd on Thursday. Make ahead of time on Wednesday and keep in the fridge until needed – it will taste better the next day and last up to a week.


1 tablespoon butter

1 shallot, peeled and diced small (フ_ small onion works too)

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

フ_ cup white wine

1 tablespoon sea salt

フ_ tablespoon fresh ground pepper

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

フ_ teaspoon ground cloves

1 フ_ cup orange juice

1 package fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar


Melt butter in a 12 qt. saucepan over medium heat, add shallots and saute until translucent. Add wine and spices, stir, and turn heat up to medium high. Reduce, allowing to boil until liquid has almost completely evaporated. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Turn down to low heat after coming to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally for one hour.


Curried Turkey salad


Make this recipe a few hours before eating. The flavors of the curry will blend and mellow nicely.


2 cups turkey, cut into フ_-inch chunks

1 apple, peeled and chopped

1 piece celery, diced

1/3 cup raisins, roughly chopped

1/2 lemon, juiced

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

2 tablespoon curry powder

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped


Combine all ingredients and stir. Cover and store in fridge until ready to use. Great on toasted bread or roll with lettuce and thinly sliced pear or apple – put a touch of mayo on both sides of the bread so it won’t be dry. Makes a great salad with spring mix.


Turkey with herbed goat cheese, roasted red peppers and artichokes



Sliced turkey breast

Herbed goat cheese (see recipe below)

Roasted red peppers

Marinated artichoke hearts

Baby spinach leaves

Bread – a baguette or soft bun works nicely here


Spread a generous layer of herbed goat cheese spread on bottom layer of bread. Stack ingredients on top, blotting peppers and artichokes on paper towel.


Herbed goat cheese


6 oz. goat cheese, room temperature (buy at Trader Joe’s for best price)

1 clove garlic, minced fine

フ_ teaspoon sea salt

フ_ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

フ_ cup mixed fresh herbs – basil, oregano, chives, Italian parsley, sage


Mix all ingredients together and keep in the fridge, covered, until ready to use.