One of the great pleasures of Thanksgiving is eating the leftovers. Sometimes the leftovers taste better to me than during the original meal itself. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not feeling as wound up or the food has aged a bit. Maybe I’ve aged a bit too. One way to savor leftovers is to simply reheat them and relive the meal. Another approach is to transform the leftovers into something else.
Cue the post-Thanksgiving sandwich. A turkey Club sandwich used to be my go-to, but this year, I thought of a Thanksgiving leftovers banh mi. National Public Radio reporter Karen Bates prompted me because she had taped a banh mi story with me earlier this year and our Viet sandwich session will air this Saturday on NPR’s All Things Considered. (Tune in because I think it’ll be a fun story!)
As a follow-up, Karen asked me: “How would you make a post-Thanksgiving banh mi?” That was easy since roast chicken is a natural for banh mi. In fact, she and I had made the rotisserie chicken and cracklings banh mi as part of the segment.
My answer to Karen was that I’d just sub turkey in the recipe (for details, see page 65 of The Banh Mi Handbook, or head to NPR.) On the other hand, my family often roasts chicken for our alternative VietThanksgiving feast. In an event, there would be lots of leftover fowl around.
But how could you put an extra Thanksgiving imprint on banh mi? I went into my kitchen and came up with a few ideas for your considering: