About now, you may be looking at a picked apart turkey carcass wondering if you should just keep picking at it or be creative with the leftovers. You’re in good company; there are as many recipes devoted to what to do with leftover holiday turkey as there are recipes for cooking the bird itself.
This recipe for a Turkey Club Sandwich is not as fussy as some of those gussied-up Turkey Tetrazzinis, lasagnas and enchiladas, which also make yummy use of the leftover fowl. Yet it’s fussy enough for me, especially after having spent the past week cleaning, cooking and organizing for today’s feast.
Up front, let’s get one thing straight. I’m not writing about a sandwich that calls itself a “Club” just because it has a toothpick down the center. Where is your third piece of bread, I wonder. And what’s that? A slice of cheese under shaved deli meat?! Shameful. A traditional Club never includes cheese. A traditional Club Sandwich, as well, insists it include real pieces of roasted turkey, not razor thin slices cut from some reconstituted ball of wax.
A classic club is a double-decker sandwich; each piece has three layers of bread divided with various ingredients.
If you’re reading this wondering who anointed me the Queen of Clubs, I speak on behalf of Wikipedia, the voice of the people. “A club sandwich, also called a clubhouse sandwich or double-decker, is a sandwich with two layers of fillings between 3 slices of toasted bread. It is often cut into quarters and held together by hor d’oeuvres sticks. The traditional club ingredients are turkey on the bottom layer, and bacon, lettuce and tomato on the top, sometimes specifically named a turkey club.”
I took a wee bit of artistic license, and messed with the order of ingredients, but only very slightly. I placed the bacon beneath the middle bread slice; it was better balanced to my eye. The Pepperidge Farm bread slices I used were small, so I cut them across diagonally, to make triangle halves instead of quarters. I have radishes that need to be used, so I used them for color, spice and crunch. Pitted olives or cornichons would be a fine substitute.
In the sandwich world, the classic club is in its own league. Call it pretentious if you will; a decked-out BLT with a frilly toothpick, as a feather plume perched upon a chapeau. But a classic Club Sandwich is democratic; a sandwich for every man, woman and child. And today, if you’ve turkey to spare, it offers you an invitation to join the club.