It’s almost time for the holidays, and we here at XOXOAD are giving thanks for Amy Reichert’s delicious guest post! As readers of her debut novel, The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, know, Amy knows her way around the kitchen–and this recipe for a Thanksgiving-leftovers sandwich makes us wish we were feasting with her this Thursday. Enjoy!
I LOVE Thanksgiving. The entire point is for two of my favorite things: eating and being thankful. I dream about this day all year—24 hours devoted to preparing and consuming delicious, homemade foods, ending with pie! I really like pie. There are no gift-giving, magical creatures breaking into my house at night to leave presents. There are no holiday costumes or required ugly sweaters to wear. Decorations are minimal and catching up with family is a nice little bonus, especially since they generally leave by sunset—off to enjoy their food comas in the comfort of their own homes. But the true delicacy is made the day after.
Let me explain.
Like all avid Thanksgiving cooks, my prep begins a few days before (or weeks if you include shopping) when I brew the crucial component to every successful Turkey Day—the stock. Sure, you can use the store-bought stuff, but making it from scratch is infinitely better and delightfully simple. There are millions of recipes available online that’ll get you there. Mine simmers for a good 12+ hours and supplies the background fragrance for the rest of my prep work. The next few days are a flurry of bread making—including English muffin bread which will be important later; stuffing—because I do stuff my bird, it makes it taste better and I like to live on the edge; and pie baking—this year I’ll be testing lemon custard pies for LUCK, LOVE & LEMON PIE, out July 2016. The actual day is a smoothly-run precision operation, ending with the world’s greatest gravy. I am an unabashedly immodest Gravy Master.
While I enjoy eating on Thanksgiving until I need to wear yoga pants, it’s the day after (and the rest of the week) that is the real prize. Several years ago, in a tryptophan-induced state, I created a glorious T-Day leftover sandwich. Today, I’ll share it with you.
Some important things to note:
One—this is not a low calorie sandwich. Do not attempt to make it healthier. Accept it. Embrace it. And realize that you won’t be eating it again until next year.
Two—that being said, like any beloved recipe, make it your own by mixing in your favorite leftovers. I’d love to hear them in the comments!
The Day After Sandwich
The following instructions are for one sandwich. I make my own English muffin bread—the recipe is surprisingly easy (http://www.playingwithflour.com/2013/11/english-muffin-loaf-bread-its-so-easy.html), but you can find loaves of it in grocery stores. If you can’t find any, and you’re useless in the kitchen, a French peasant bread like one from Breadsmith will work well, or any slice that will have a hearty crunch to it when toasted. But seriously, try making the bread, you might surprise yourself.
1 piece of bacon—don’t skimp on quality here. If you can afford it, buy the good bacon.
Cranberry sauce—enough to spread onto one slice of bread.
Gravy—enough to spread onto one slice of bread.
2 slices of English muffin bread
Turkey—chopped into bite size chunks, enough to cover a slice of bread.
Stuffing—enough to cover a slice of bread.
- In a non-stick skillet (or your skillet of choice) on medium heat, cook the bacon slice to your preferred doneness. Set aside on a paper towel. Do not drain the bacon fat.
- Spread cranberry sauce on one slice of bread and gravy on the other slice. Set both slices, non-covered side down, into the leftover bacon fat to brown. You may need to rub the bread around to make sure it’s evenly coated. Using the remaining bacon fat in the skillet, reheat the turkey and stuffing. I like to add a little extra gravy to my stuffing and form it into a patty so it’s easy to flip and transfer onto the sandwich later.
- When the bread is toasted and the gravy and cranberry sauce is warm, set the gravy covered slice on a plate—toasted side down. Top with the heated stuffing and turkey, split the bacon in two and top with the cranberry covered slice of toast. Enjoy!