How to Build the Perfect Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich

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I have a friend who won’t eat leftovers. It's her personal choice, and I respect that, but I pity her, for she will never know the glory of the Thanksgiving sandwich. Thanksgiving dinner is one of the best meals of the year, but what’s even better is the next day's leftover sandwich. Mashing together 10 different dishes on a plate can be overwhelming, but layered together between crusty bread your turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, and cranberry sauce can be given new life. Chef Guy Ric Scicchitano of Corner Bakery Cafe loved the sandwich so much that he put one on his menu, but he gave us some tips for how to get the most out of your leftover sandwich at home.

Use the right leftovers
Though it's a leftover sandwich, not all leftovers work well. "People try to re-purpose great crusty table bread that is too tough for a sandwich the following day," says Scicchitano. Any day-old bread should be toasted or grilled to bring life back into it. Also, avoid wilted salads, and piling the sandwich too high with dry turkey and stuffing without a moistening spread. 

Get your layers right
You can't just throw whatever you want between two slices of bread and call it a day. There's an art to the sandwich craft. According to Scicchitano, start with a soft starch, like mashed potatoes or stuffing (or both). Then add your meat, if you eat it, then any vegetables you might want, like green bean casserole or creamed spinach. Add gravy if you want an open-faced sandwich, but otherwise add some greens and a spread, like leftover cranberry sauce whisked into mayonnaise. 

Add in non-leftovers
Who's to say a sandwich needs to be all leftovers? Or a sandwich? To keep utilizing the feast, Scicchitano recommends tossing chopped turkey and sweet potatoes into scrambled eggs for breakfast the next day, with a side of hash made by sauteing cabbage and shredded brussels sprouts with turkey, and topping with gravy or cranberry relish. You can also make double-baked mashed potatoes by stuffing mashed potatoes inside a baked potato, then baking the whole thing for 5–10 minutes and drizzling with gravy and other toppings.

And remember, don't just use your savory leftovers. "Any fruit pie or cobbler with streusel can be layered into a parfait for the next day's breakfast. Make sure to use unsweetened Greek yogurt, because the filling has plenty of sweetness." Though just eating leftover pie as is is never a bad idea.

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