Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving Recipe Week - Ultimate Turkey Sandwich

Some make a turkey sandwich cold - I like mine hot, but this is a conflict where both sides win! For a simple turkey leftover meal, nothing beats The 99 Cent Chef's Ultimate Turkey Sandwich.

Everybody has their way with Thanksgiving leftovers (click here for a bunch of recipes.) I like nothing better than a plate of microwaved turkey, stuffing, gravy, and veggies, with a side of cold cranberry sauce. 

If the turkey turned out moist then microwaving is fine, but if your turkey dried out in the oven, then pour on some gravy, or reserved turkey juices, even a teaspoon of water to reconstitute (always remember to save the turkey juices for such an emergency - I always pour some over my sliced bird, dried-out or not.)

As for my Ultimate Turkey Sandwich, it's pretty simple, just the standard leftovers of turkey, dressing, gravy, and cranberry sauce (click here to see my holiday recipes.) But what takes my sandwich over the top is an extra crisp layer of browned turkey skin.

Usually, half the table will peel off the turkey skin and leave it. If I see this then I politely ask if I can have it (or, if I am serving the slices then I ask first, before giving up any turkey skin.) 

I can see why the skin is set aside, it is often soggy, from sitting on the steaming bird before it's served. But I like it that way too. Inevitably there is a lot of uneaten turkey skin.

This is what to do with it. Just saute the skin until brown and crispy. It's like a strip of mild turkey bacon. And it only takes a few minutes of browning on each side. Some parts of the turkey skin have a thick layer of fat, which you can scrape off as the skin cooks, to save a few calories. (And once you've tried my crisp skin method, then you will do the same crisping for roasted chicken skin, too.)

The crunchy skin adds a nice contrast to the tender meat, soggy (but luscious) stuffing, and cool cranberry sauce. It's kind of like a Turkey BLT sandwich.

So, If you like your sandwich hot or cold, try kicking it up a notch with a crisp layer of turkey skin. And watch the video of my Ultimate Turkey Sandwich to see how I like to do it.
Ultimate Turkey Sandwich - VIDEO 

Play it here, video runs 55 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

  • Cooked Turkey - I used leftover Turkey pieces and slices from Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
  • Mayonnaise - I like mayo on my sandwiches.
  • Gravy - leftover.
  • Turkey Stuffing - again, leftovers.
  • Cranberry Sauce - I make it fresh, but I like it from the can, too.
  • Crisp Turkey Skin - optional. Turkey Skin gets soggy so I like to saute it until crisp.
  • Slices of Bread - any favorite type of bread, buns, or rolls.
*Of course, you can use any favorite leftovers and make the sandwich your way.

Start with sauteing segments of turkey skin. The skin can be in large or small pieces. You will add as much as you like to the sandwich. And once the skin is brown and crisp it will easily break apart to fit any size of a sandwich. Like bacon, a lot of grease is generated crisping the skin.

As the skin browns, you can scrape off any excess fat, although I like a little layer of it. (And since I only have the whole turkey once or twice a year, the extra skin calories don't worry me.)

Saute skin until brown, about 5 minutes on each side. The skin doesn't have to be totally crisp, as it will firm up more once taken off the grill, and allowed to cool for a minute. Better to undercook than burn it.

When the skin is done, then microwave the turkey slices, stuffing, and gravy. (Add a little water, turkey gravy, or turkey juices over turkey slices, if it has dried out.) Usually, I like to heat up the gravy separately to pour over the slices and stuffing as I assemble the sandwich.

Top sandwich with cranberry sauce and a slice of crisp turkey skin (or a few small pieces.) Sometimes I toast the bread when I make my Ultimate Turkey Sandwich.

If you like a cold turkey sandwich then assemble it right from the refrigerator.

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