I have some friends who put the turkey carcass into a big stockpot immediately after Thanksgiving dinner to make some sort of soup. That’s not my kind of thing -- unless, of course, someone sends me an irresistible recipe for Thanksgiving soup! (I will, however, make a stock with the bones.) And I have some other friends who hate leftovers, saying enough is enough.
For me, though, the leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving dinner. I love digging the savory stuffing out of the cavity to enjoy later, and picking at the cold turkey from the fridge. And I want a generous amount of well-roasted turkey for delectable sandwiches on the Friday, Saturday, and even Sunday after Thanksgiving. In fact, I so love leftover turkey that I roast two birds -- one stuffed, one unstuffed. Sometimes I even add a large turkey breast, just to guarantee that there will be enough meat for slicing for editor Kevin Sharkey’s day-after party and everybody’s lunches.
Excellent-quality turkeys are increasingly available to all of us -- and a better bird really is worth the expense. I tend to roast freshly killed, organically grown turkeys (sometimes raised right on my own farm). The recipes here are meant as guidelines for really good sandwiches featuring my favorite flavor combinations. With the best breads; crispest bacon; freshest tomatoes, lettuces, avocados, watercress, and cucumbers; and tangiest cranberry sauces and relishes, you can create a veritable feast just for yourself, or perhaps for a casual “make your own” party the day after your big sit-down affair. Of course, the beauty of sandwiches is that you can improvise with any ingredients -- changing up the vegetables and condiments and even adding other leftovers from the dinner.