Hot Turkey Sandwiches
By Leanne Penny
I grew up Dutch, the child of a second generation immigrant. Being Dutch in America generally doesn’t mean much more than last names with difficult spellings, chocolate letters and banket at Christmas and genetically ingrained frugality. I was part of a large family, 13 first cousins on my dad’s side. We were a tight knit clan who loved vacationing together and gathering over my grandmother’s scrumptious scratch cooking.
I could start my own cooking blog reminiscing on her recipes. She passed away just a few months ago and she leaves behind a legacy of faith, family and food.
The recipe I am about to share here isn’t HER recipe per se, but it is something she ingrained in me and cooked every Sunday night for my dad and his four siblings. It’s also a meal I served regularly at the Dutch-American restaurant I used to work at, the one with the wooden shoe and tulips on the sign.
Today we’re going to learn how to make hot turkey sandwiches. These aren’t really sandwiches in the classic sense. They’re more open-faced…a slice of bread covered in shredded turkey, smothered in gravy and served with a side of mashed potatoes.
This is an easy, classic meal and more of a process than a recipe. I don’t have it written down anywhere. Well, I guess I do now.
- Turkey (Dark meat preferred; you’ll get more gravy.For this recipe I used turkey thighs.)
- Stock (turkey, chicken, vegetable, whatever you have on hand)
- Potatoes (peeled or unpeeled, whatever floats your gravy boat)
- Sour Cream
- A good, solid loaf of bread
- Place your turkey in crockpot, on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. If you are working with dark meat, you should be fine without adding extra liquid. If you are working with turkey breast only, you may want to add some water or stock if you’re going to be gone so it doesn’t dry out.
- Once cooked, remove your turkey from the crock pot. Strain the liquid in the bottom of the crockpot into a pan. Not a sauce pan, but a frying pan. This will be used to make your gravy and I find that sauce needs surface area to reduce.
- Add some stock into your pan. I'd say about as much stock as you have pan drippings, but the ratio is pretty flexible.
- Now, grab a bit of white flour and taking a fork, whisk it with some of your warm stock or drippings. Once it’s incorporated, slowly drizzle it into the pan while whisking so you get gravy instead of dumplings. Once it’s thickened to your liking, set it aside.
- Make mashed potatoes by adding cleaned and cut up potatoes to a pot of boiling, salted water.
- Once fork-tender, drain your potatoes.
- Add butter and sour cream to your pot, whatever feels right. Start with 2 Tbsp of butter and work up as needed.
- Now add a little milk, just a little bit, a few tablespoons at a time. There is nothing worse than runny mashed potatoes.
- Using an old school potato masher, go to town on your potatoes until they reach your desired consistency. If you like them lump free, you should probably bring in an electrical gadget so as not to get carpal tunnel.
- Season as needed with salt and pepper.
Leanne Penny is a wavering hope ambassador, reluctant pastor’s wife, and intentional mother of 3 lovelies. Long on words, short on grace, in love with redemption. She blogs at LeannePenny.com.