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What to do with Christmas leftovers: Make Max Halley's Coronation turkey sandwich

The i logo The i 02/12/2019
food on the cutting board © Provided by The i

If ever there's a time to indulge unashamedly, it's Christmas. The whole point is to enjoy a little extravagance. Put half a farm in the oven and a double shot of Baileys on your Coco Pops. It's fine.

Still, food waste is on people's minds in a big way and most have a dozy eye on sustainability. In Tesco's annual Christmas report, 75 per cent of people have committed to cutting down their excesses; nearly half said they'll be buying smaller joints of meat this year and 39 per cent have pledged to buying loose fruit and veg.

And because festive intemperance has not yet been entirely consigned to history, there's a greater emphasis on leftovers. Around 86 per cent of Britons said they'll be left with things to eat and pretty much all are keen to get back in the kitchen. If prevention's a little stretched, at least there's an agreeable cure. And what better than an enormous Boxing Day sandwich, gravy dipped and plentiful?

a person sitting at a table in a room © Provided by The i

Sure, turkey curries, ham and leek pastas and steaming casseroles all make for ample second-day spreads, but there's no need to bother when you can shove stuff inside two thick wedges of white bloomer and sit in front of Gavin & Stacey, replete and satiated and a bit tipsy to boot.

Sandwiches might be simple things but that doesn't mean they're immune to complacency. So i asked sandwich connoisseur Max Halley, owner of Max's Sandwich Shop in Crouch End, London, for a few notes. He says tradition is key.

Gravy mayonnaise

Max Halley in Max's Sandwich Shop in Crouch Hill, north London (Photo: Howard Shooter)

"The secret of a successful Christmas, I believe, is an appropriate level of repetition," says Halley.

"Mine has many little traditions and I look forward to them all immensely. There’s the annual shopping trip with my sister and its culmination dinner in Chinatown; there’s opening the Advent calendar my mum has sent me (aged 37!! Hahaha); there’s my hero dad driving to London, like Father Bloody Christmas, to collect my sister and me.

"And then there's a personal favourite of what I'll put in my Christmas sandwich?!"

Halley says sandwiches have been helping us consume leftovers in a "creative and delicious manner" since 1762(ish). And we're still not bored of them.

"A little gravy left in the bottom of the jug might be mixed into mayonnaise, a few roast potatoes sliced and refried or a patty of bubble made from mashed up veg – there are many strings to the Christmas Sandwich’s bow," says Halley, who was astonished to see KFC recently recreate - copy, even? - his gravy mayonnaise idea.

This year Halley instead looks to be currying excitement in another way.

He tells i: "Recently, as befits the sandwich professional, I have found myself thinking about Coronation chicken. When making the original version, it dawned on me that it was a little like making mulled wine and mixing it into mayonnaise. What could be more Christmassy?"

Here's Halley's Coronation chicken Christmas sandwich:

Take whatever bread you’ve got that seems appropriate and find yourself a bowl. Fill it up with at least five tablespoons of mayonnaise. Shred some leftover turkey into it. Cover with lashings of curry powder (God I LOVE curry powder), a big spoonful of yoghurt if its about and some chopped up green stuff – chives would be nice, coriander equally lovely, spring onions excellent, and nothing at all probably also fine. Salt and pepper liberally applied. Stir stir stir. Put as much of this as is humanly possible between two slices of bread, get back in front of the tele and feel at one with world. For the only time this year.
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