< La Petite Chinoise : LPC: The Day After Thanksgiving... Roast Turkey Sandwich of course!

« An unexpected dish of lentils | Main | Potato–Celeriac Gratin with Tomato Sauce »

The Day After Thanksgiving... Roast Turkey Sandwich of course!

My turkey Sandwich the Day After Thanksgiving Dinner

Being the great planner that I am, I failed to order a turkey in advance for our Thanksgiving dinner party. Oops. As I was walking to the market, I was thinking up all plausible excuses for my American friends about why the turkey never made it to our table- Isn’t it nice to have a vegetarian Thanksgiving? Or chicken’s just as good! Urgh. What was I going to do without a turkey? I started to invoke divine intervention.

Thank Goodness! There was one last turkey at the volailliere at 11am. An American woman had ordered it for the day before for Thanksgiving, but failed to pick it up. I could have it for EUR25 instead of EUR65 if I wanted it. Duh! Of course, I would love to have it! Then he gave me a whole kilo of chicken wings for free and proceeded to tell me how to make a good broth for the sauce. “Vous serez regalé” (You will have a delicious meal!) In Asia, it wouldn’t make a difference to the price if the bird was a day old. A turkey is a turkey and hard to get on Thanksgiving week. And no one would be giving away chicken wings for free. The French never fail to surprise me with their generosity.

His generosity gave a kick start to my day and gave me the confidence to tackle roasting my first turkey and making my first bread stuffing. Below is the recipe from the magazine “Fine Cooking” I followed like a pedant in the kitchen, word for word.* I was really worried I would screw up the turkey and ruin Thanksgiving for my friends. The recipe worked. Everyone seemed pleased with the turkey and there were leftovers only for one sandwich the next day.

Lunch, the day after Turkey day, is layers of roast turkey with a thick slice of country bread soaked in gravy in the middle… just divine!

Smoked Paprika & Fennel Seed Roast Turkey with Onion Gravy

Ingredients: For the butter:

  • 6 tablespoons (90g) of butter
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • For the turkey:
  • 4 tablespoons (60g) butter, melted
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 12 pound (about 5kg) turkey
  • 6 cloves of garlic peeled
  • zest of 1 lemon, removed in long strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 4 large sprigs of fresh thyme
  • For the onion gravy:
  • 7 tablespoons of flour
  • 4 cups of broth, hot
  • Make the broth by putting the chicken wings in large pot and 1 liter of water, some thyme sprigs and an onion.
    Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.

    Make the paprika-fennel butter: Put the butter in a small bowl.
    Add the fennel seeds, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper and mix until well blended.

    Prepare the turkey: Position the rack to the lowest part of the oven. Heat the oven to 180degC or 350degF.
    Brush a large flameproof roasting pan with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
    Place the onions in the pan.
    Set the turkey on a work surface. Loosen the skin over the breasts and rub the paprika-fennel butter under the skin and smear it all over the breast. Brush the turkey skin all over with the remaining butter.
    Place the garlic, lemon skins, thyme sprigs in the cavity of the turkey.
    Place the turkey on the roasting pan and roast for 3 hours. Baste the turkey every hour and turn the pan around.

    To make the gravy: Set the roasting pan with the onion and juices over medium high heat.
    With a wooden spoon, stir up the brown bits.
    Sprinkle the flour into the pan and stir until well combined.
    Add the broth one ladle/ cup at a time and stir until well combined.
    Heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until it’s thick.

    Carve the turkey and pass the gravy around.

    * I basted the turkey every half hour instead of every hour.


    Sandwich looks yummylicious! You are brave to tackle the turkey... Am keeping the recipe for next year. Hopefully I gather enough courage.

    Hello Karen: I was petrified of roasting the turkey, cos there's always so much talk and excitement about how to make the perfect turkey. And of course in the US, this is THE big celebration, so all the more, no mess-ups. For courage, take a big swig of whisky and then take the plunge. And keep basting it every half hour... enjoy!

    Post a comment

    (If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)