Dinner Rush! Open-Faced Turkey Sandwich with Apple Cider Gravy and Collard Greens

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Let’s face it: Thanksgiving is coming. You can’t stop it. I can’t stop it. The best we can do is to prepare ourselves for turkey’s imminence. Sounds about the right time for a dry run on roasting America’s most-grateful bird.

To make things easier, reach for a boneless turkey breast or tenderloin (which, based on the sheer size difference between the two, is like a chicken tender, only much larger). Picking up a lean cut like this means it will cook faster and slice easier for an open-faced sandwich.

This is a great alternative when planning for the upcoming holiday, too. If you’re cooking for a smaller crowd or just don’t want to deal with preparing a whole bird, roast off a couple of breasts or tenderloins and you’ll have all the flavor without any of the fuss.

Open-Faced Turkey Sandwich with Apple Cider Gravy and Collard Greens

Total Time: 35 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 25 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy
For the turkey:

2 turkey tenderloins or 1 boneless, skinless turkey breast (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
For the collard greens:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 green apple, cored and chopped
1 bunch collard greens, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional
For the gravy:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
8 slices marble rye bread, toasted

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.

Rub the turkey with the spices, some salt and pepper. and the olive oil. Roast until golden brown and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Let the cooked turkey rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

While the turkey is roasting, prepare the collard greens. Place a wide, high-sided saute pan over medium heat with the butter. Add the onion and apple, and cook until the onions begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the greens, Worcestershire, stock and caraway seeds (if using). Season with salt and pepper, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes.

While the collard greens are simmering, prepare the gravy. Place a pot over medium heat with the butter. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock, cider and mustard, and whisk to incorporate. Simmer the gravy until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve warm.

To serve, slice the turkey and layer on two slices of toasted bread. Top with gravy and serve with the collard greens.

NOTE: If you’re crunched for time, check in with the prepared foods section of your grocery store. Some of them roast their own turkeys. Save a bit of effort and grab a few slices from them instead of roasting a whole cut on your own.

Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Marc Forgione and Bobby Deen, he's now the Digital Content Manager for FoodNetwork.com, CookingChannelTV.com and Food.com in NYC by day and develops recipes at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following him on Instagram or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.

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