Tag Archives: turkey

Green Goddess Dressing Will Save Your Leftover Turkey Sandwich

Welcome to Never Fail, a weekly column where we wax poetic about the recipes that never, ever let us down.

In the pantheon of sandwiches, those made from Thanksgiving leftovers reign supreme. (Sorry fried chicken sandwiches. I’ll always love you!) My family takes our next-day sandwiches so seriously, we put the turkey basting and pie decorating on pause to whip up a condiment for the next day. Yes, we prep for our leftovers, and no, we’re not crazy. We just know a turkey sandwich enhanced with green goddess dressing is worth it.

Sandwich-ify Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

For the uninitiated, green goddess is a vibrant and garlicky dressing that (probably) originated in 1923 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It combines a prodigious amounts of herbs like chives and parsley with salty anchovies and a creamy base, often mayonnaise and sour cream. The bright green hue suggests it is healthy. I assure you it is not. However, it is unquestionably delicious—and a recipe that’s been passed down in my family for at least three generations. (The food-spattered recipe cards suggest longer, but nobody can remember for sure.)

Once you acquire a taste for green goddess dressing you become insatiable, which is probably why a romaine salad drenched in the stuff became a staple on my family’s Thanksgiving dinner table years ago. One day, in a stroke of genius, someone added the extra dressing to their next-day leftovers sandwich. It was perfect! We collectively lost our minds.


Elizabeth Cecil

You could use the dressing for a crunchy Thanksgiving Day salad…or just save it all for sandwiches. Your call.

Turkey has a nasty habit of drying out even when beautifully brined and roasted. Constructing a sandwich with cut up, day-old meat on crusty bread only worsens the dryness, which is why true sandwich heads know that it’s critical to introduce something creamy to keep things delicious. Ross and Monica had the Moistmaker—an unholy marriage of turkey and stuffing joined by a thick slice of gravy-soaked bread. I admire their boldness, but frankly, green goddess dressing is the only way to go.

The Moistmaker introduces wetness and doubles down on flavors already existing in the sandwich, but green goddess adds herbaceous creaminess and the perfect amount of tang, fortified with some anchovy funk. It elevates Thanksgiving leftovers into something truly special—but of course, no one in their right mind wants to cook (or do dishes) the day after Thanksgiving. That’s why it’s important to carve out a small section of Thanksgiving prep time to make the dressing. Use it in a salad if you like, but my family hasn’t made that romaine salad for years. We save all that beautiful dressing for the leftovers. It’s worth it.

Get a green goddess dressing recipe here:



If You Care About Thanksgiving Leftovers, You Need to Make an Extra Turkey Breast

If you want the best leftover turkey sandwich of your life, you have to make an extra turkey breast. That’s just how it works. It sounds like turkey overdose, but we promise you, you’ll thank us when you take the first bite of the sandwich that will change your day-after Thanksgiving tradition forever.

The ultimate flaw of the next-day turkey sandwich is that the turkey breast that was sliced from your beautiful bird has dried out even more in the fridge. Your mouth is going to be walking through a poultry desert no matter how much mayo you slather on that thing. That’s why you take out the ultimate turkey insurance policy. You roast a bone-in, skin-on turkey breast in addition to whatever else you’re making for Thanksgiving.

Wait, turkey breast that’s attached to the bone? But not to the turkey?

Yes, precisely. Cooking turkey breast by itself is the perfect move for turkey sandwich obsessives, because it lets you concentrate on cooking the turkey breast to perfection, without worrying about whether or not the dark meat off to the sides has finished cooking. And if you’re unfamiliar with the cut, have no fear, because a bone-in, skin-on turkey breast isn’t hard to find at your grocery store, especially around the holidays.

We like the breast to have the skin on and the bone attached, because it offers a bit of insulation for the meat, giving you a juicer, more tender turkey when you roast it. (You can definitely fry or grill the breast, but the evenly distributed heat of an oven will cook your turkey more gently—especially when you follow our method right here.) They also offer the meat an extra dose of flavor as it cooks, since they’re filled with fat, proteins, and collagen.



Always cut against the grain!

And while we’re on the subject of flavor, you should absolutely be seasoning your turkey breast with a dry-brine. A dry-brine will deliver flavor quickly and efficiently, while taking up less space than the large, turkey-sized tub of wet brine that would be sitting in your fridge. We’re really into the dry-brine from this dry-rubbed turkey breast recipe, which is packed with coriander, fennel, kosher salt, brown sugar, and black pepper. Plus, all that salt helps break down the tough turkey fibers a bit, again helping keep everything nice and moist.

Having an untouched, perfectly-cooked breast makes slicing up meat for a turkey club the next day effortless. But it also offers a couple other options: You can serve it the night of Thanksgiving as the star of your platter—or as backup, should the breast on your main turkey end up dry. Roasting a skin-on, bone-in breast is also a great move if you’re only cooking for a couple people, or have never roasted a turkey before. It’s a more approachable, less intimidating way to get that bird on the table.

Yeah, maybe the idea of roasting an extra turkey breast seems gratuitous. But this is Thanksgiving. It comes once a year, and you better be bringing your A-game. The turkey breast is insurance that you will. Do it for yourself. Do it for your guests. But also, more importantly, do it for the sandwich.

Get the recipe:



Maybe You Shouldn’t Roast Your Turkey This Thanksgiving

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Don’t roast your turkey this year

If I could offer one piece of Thanksgiving advice, it would be this: braise your turkey.

I know, I know—am I insane! Am I really telling you not to roast your bird, to not present a Norman Rockwell-worthy centerpiece for your holiday table?

Yes, that is exactly what I’m telling you.

A couple years ago, I riffed on Bon App’s braised turkey legs recipe and it was a revelation—rich, tender, fall-off-the-bone meat, cloaked in a silky, oniony, wine-y gravy. It was like turkey carnitas.

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And I was even able to cook the entire dish ahead of time, so I never had to worry about frantically checking the doneness of the bird, or comparing the temperature of the dark meat to the white, or fretting about opening the oven door too often.

The the most important step in the braising process is your first step: Call your butcher or ask the meat counter of your go-to grocery store if they can break down a turkey for you. You want the legs and thighs removed (I like them separated, so you’re left with four large pieces), and then have the breast meat taken off the bone.


Christopher Testani

This will allow you to braise your dark meat in a Dutch oven early in the day. And if your butcher counter is a full-service type joint, they’ll roll and season and maybe even wrap your turkey breast in pancetta or bacon. Then you can roast it in the oven to pin-point doneness as a porchetta-style roast turkey, in far less time than it would take to cook a whole bird.

When my wife and I last hosted two years ago, the rolled breast was…good. Ideal for next-day leftover sandwiches.

But the braised dark meat stole the show. Just before sitting down, I hit the slow-cooked legs and thighs with the broiler to crisp up the skin. Then I pulled the meat off the bone, shredding it with a couple forks and set it on a large platter. I studded it with cipollini onions from the pot and bathed the whole thing with the fragrant braising liquid.

There were no leftovers. And what’s a better compliment than that?

Get the recipes:

Stock-Braised Turkey Legs
Porchetta-Style Turkey Breast


The No-Fail Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Is Here

In the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen, being assigned the Thanksgiving turkey is a big deal. It’s a right of passage, a responsibility earned with seniority. This year, Andy Baraghani got the call. “It’s an honor,” Andy told me, “like I’m nominated for an Oscar. It’s just an honor to be nominated. Well, in this case, I won the Oscar.” He started waving away tears (Andy watches a lot of Oscar speeches late at night.)

The Thanksgiving menu for 2018 focused on finding the best possible versions of classics; this wasn’t a moment to get kooky, but to get technical. And the bird was no exception. The assignment: Develop a foolproof, always-turns-out-right turkey recipe. Every element was considered to the nth degree. Golden, crackly skin. Juicy interior. Actual turkey flavor. In the end, we got this recipe from Andy, which I’ll break down one crucial point at a time. It’ll be fun, though—a real turkey ride on the way to optimal turkeytown. This is how you get there.

First, we dry brine

Andy’s recipe calls for a salt and sugar dry rub, massaged all over the bird 12 hours (or up to two days) before the big day. This is the key to a juicy, actually delicious turkey (and chicken too!). That’s because the salt pulls out the water from inside the turkey, creating some salty turkey juices (SORRY there’s no other way to say it) that, after some time hanging out in the fridge, soak back into the bird like the giant meat sponge that it is. The turkey loses a lot of water when it cooks in the oven, but the salt helps the muscles retain more moisture, meaning the turkey will stay moist-er by eating time. The salt also helps loosen up the stringy turkey muscles, making it possible for us to enjoy this thing. Beyond that, and if you like to throw around words like “osmosis,” I highly recommend reading the entirety of J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s The Food Lab, or just this article on brining. Regardless of what is going on beneath the surface of the flesh, the salt and sugar are amplifying flavor, and the sugar helps with that Norman Rockwell golden amber color once it caramelizes in the oven.

dry rubbed turkey breast

Photo by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, prop styling by Kalen Kaminski

Juicy turkey is possible, people. Let‘s make dreams happen.

Why dry is better than wet brine

Or maybe you enjoy filling a huge cooler or tub, Splash mermaid-bath-style, with salt water? It’s a pain, it’s a mess, and that bucket of brine takes up way too much real estate in the refrigerator. Plus, it ends up waterlogging the turkey and diluting the flavor.

Then we glaze

Thing we all want: a turkey with a cover-worthy sheen and golden color. Get it with Andy’s simple sweet-punchy-herby glaze made of vinegar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, garlic, orange zest, and butter. (Can also be accomplished by covering it with butter and leaving it on your roof, Kramer-style??). You paint the glaze on every 30 minutes, which might only be two or three times because…

What you need to know about timing

The recipe is timed so that you go hard at the beginning, 450° for 30 minutes, to get some color on the skin, and then go down to 300° for 65-85 minutes (this is for a 12–14-lb turkey). This isn’t your wake-up-at-the-crack-of-dawn all-day turkey marathon recipe.

What you need to know about pans

Ring a bell or something! I have an announcement. This recipe calls for a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack. Like this one. Without the high walls of a roasting pan, the turkey is able to get color ALL OVER, which we skin-stealers like. But yes, you can still totally do this in a regular roasting pan. (Especially if you’re the clumsy type—it’s a big, heavy turkey on a wire rack.)

dry rubbed roast turkey process

Photo by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, prop styling by Kalen Kaminski

So yeah, we used a roasting pan in this photo shoot.

Pro tip: Add a cup of water in the bottom of the baking sheet to mix with the turkey juices (AGAIN, MY APOLOGIES). The water keeps the juices from burning and making the turkey taste burnt, even if it technically isn’t. Too much water will steam your turkey though, and while a turkey sauna sounds like some kind of Black Friday wellness deal, we DON’T WANT IT. Steam = soggy skin.

What you need to know about the turkey’s internal temperature

Stab the turkey with your trusty Thermapen in the thickest part of breast near the neck, and when it registers 150°, you’re done. If that sounds low, don’t be alarmed, it’s going to keep cooking outside of the oven. It’s so big, it’s become a turkey oven itself.

Rest that turkey!!!

This might be a duh for SOME of you but we gotta repeat: Let the finished bird lie there. On the cutting board, away from prying uncles and sniffy dogs. For at least 30 minutes, to an hour. This thing is an animal. The muscles tighten while cooking, and we want to be able to slice it and shove it into our faces, as animals ourselves. Let it rest to let those muscles relax, to let the inner juices (SORRY x3) redistribute. Will it cool down in that time? NO. It retains heat like an industrial sleeping bag.

Any further questions? Ask us. Seriously. Email bonappetitfoodcast@gmail and Carla Lalli Music will be answering all Thanksgiving queries on the BA Foodcast this month.

Get the recipe:


How to make Holiday Turkey and Stuffing.

turkey dinner

So it’s your turn to make the big Turkey dinner this year but you have no clue where to start.

Believe it or not but making turkey and stuffing is not that hard to do even for the beginning cook.

Here is a little video which describes how to make homemade dressing and oven baked turkey.

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