Thanksgiving Leftovers Are the Stars of The Plaza Chef’s Sandwich Recipe

Photos courtesy Ellen & Geoff Rudaw

The Plaza Hotel’s Executive Chef Geoff Rudaw shares a recipe for his Thanksgiving Sandwich, a.k.a. the perfect thing to make with those Turkey Day extras.

Whether you go with takeout this year or cook the whole Thanksgiving Day meal yourself, you’re bound to have leftovers, and Westchester Magazine has obtained an exclusive recipe for how to make the most of them. The Plaza Hotel’s executive chef, Geoff Rudaw, who creates kitchen magic locally with the Westchester Culinary Society, has shared the secret to his revered Thanksgiving Sandwich, which he developed back when he was executive chef at Ian Schrager’s Royalton Hotel. Although this richly flavorful sammie was conceived at Thanksgiving, it quickly became a year-round staple on the restaurant’s lunch, late night, and room service menus. All you need to enjoy it in the comfort of your own home is turkey with all the fixins’ and a few other items you’re bound to have in the fridge or pantry.

Chef Geoff Rudaw

The Thanksgiving Sandwich

Yields four sandwiches


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  • 4 hero rolls (Chef preference: J.J. Cassone Bakery of Port Chester, available at DeCicco’s)
  • 12-14 oz turkey, freshly roasted and sliced medium thick
  • 6 oz stuffing
  • Cranberry sauce (as an accompaniment)
  • 1-1.5 Tablespoons butter
  • 6-8 oz gruyere, sliced
  • 2/3 cup herb mayo (recipe below)
  • 1-2 oz garlic oil (recipe below)
  • wax or parchment paper, or plastic wrap


Slice the hero completely open, leaving one edge attached, and place it “inside down.” Spread a thin layer of herb mayo on the exposed side. Divide turkey into four parts, and neatly and evenly stack 1/4 turkey on each sandwich half.

Place stuffing between two layers of wax or parchment paper or plastic wrap and press gently into a 1/4 inch flat layer. Divide the stuffing into four equal parts and cover the turkey with a layer of flattened stuffing.

Add sliced gruyere and carefully close the sandwich. In a pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon garlic oil and 2 teaspoons butter; swirl together when hot.

Place the sandwich in the pan, using something to weigh it down, like a sheet of foil and a pan. Toast one side until light golden brown. Use spatula to carefully flip sandwich to toast other side, adding more butter and garlic oil as needed.

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If cheese is melted, enjoy immediately with a liberal amount of cranberry sauce on the side. (If cheese needs more melting, place sandwich in toaster oven at 325 degrees until melted.)

Herb Mayonnaise


  • 1 and ¼ cup mayo
  • 1.5 tablespoons parsley, flat leaf, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chives, sliced fine (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 3-4 drops tabasco


Mix all ingredients well. (Can be made ahead three days; store well.)

Garlic Oil


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  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, ends clipped


In a small stainless-steel pot, cover garlic cloves with oil and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to lowest setting, cooking slowly until garlic turns lightly golden. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Ready when cooled. (Caramelized garlic can be used for another application.)

Interested in more recipes or ready-to-serve meals? Chef Geoff’s Westchester Culinary Society, based in Pelham, offers small, in-home classes on restaurant-style cooking, as well as catering, private chef services, and ready-made meals complete with reheating directions and photos of how food should be arranged on the plate.

Westchester Culinary Society

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