Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kentucky Hot Browns - Yet Again

How was your Thanksgiving?

We traveled to Florida so I didn't get to smoke a turkey this year.  Nor did I have leftover turkey when we got back home.

That's a problem.  If I don't have leftover turkey, how can I have one of my favorite sandwiches ever - the Kentucky Hot Brown?

The Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich with crisp bacon, thin sliced smoked turkey, tomato, and topped with Mornay sauce.  It's all put under the broiler for just a few minutes to make the cheese sauce bubbly and a little charred.

Since I didn't have leftover turkey, I ran to Food City Friday morning and bought their last turkey breast.  I didn't have time to brine so I used an injection instead.

Turkey Injection
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup white wine
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp MSG
1/4 tsp creole seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Heat all ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium heat and blend well.  Allow to cool slightly before using.

After injecting the turkey breast, I seasoned the outside heavily with thyme and Lotta Bull's UnBULLevable All Purpose Seasoning.  I smoked it with some cherry wood on the Big Green Egg at 300f for about 2 1/2 hours until it reached an internal temp of 155f.  

Great!  Now I had me some leftover turkey.   Time for Hot Browns.

Alexis works retail in the mall so this weekend (Black Friday) was slammed busy for her and her co-workers.  I surprised them with a batch of these yesterday.

Kentucky Hot Brown

Prep Time: 25
Cook Time: 45

Ingredients (serves 12)
    You'll Need
    • 1 loaf Italian bread, sliced on a bias into 12 pieces
    • 12 pieces cooked bacon
    • 1 1/2 lbs smoked turkey
    • 2 tomatoes, sliced
    For the Mornay sauce
    • 1 Tbsp butter
    • 1 Tbsp shallot, finely diced
    • 1 clove garlic, whole slightly crushed
    • 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 cup half and half
    • 1/2 cup mozzarella shredded
    • 1/4 cup pecorino romano
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    1. Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and saute until the shallot is tender, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly to form a blond roux.
    2. Whisk in about a quarter cup of the half/half and whisk until well blended. Add some more, repeat. Then add the remaining half/half. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes.  Remove the garlic clove and discard.
    3. Whisk in the cheeses in small batches and stir until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Sauce should be thick.
    4. Assemble the sandwiches on a cookie sheet. From the bottom up, you'll use bread, bacon, sliced turkey, tomato slices and then spoon the sauce over it.
    5. Stick under a broiler until the Mornay sauce is bubbly and starts to brown.
    Powered by Recipage

    You can use a blend of different cheeses but I always like to include some of a salty, nutty cheese like Pecorino Romano or Parmesan.

    The sauce needs to be thick enough to cling to a spoon.

    Slice the turkey thinly.

    Ready to broiler-ize.  Broiler-ate?

    One is enough for me, two really fill you up.
    These Hot Browns are my favorite Thanksgiving weekend tradition.  Are you finished with your leftovers yet?


    1. They look great Chris. Used our turkey left overs Saturday night to make the same thing. They have gotten to become a after Thanksgiving tradition. Love those darn things but never remember to do them any other time of year.

      ross ramsey, fellow egger in knoxville

    2. Kentucky hot browns are one of my favorite sandwiches. I bet Alexis is THE most popular person at work thanks to you and these yummy sandwiches.

    3. Due to not having cooked at home I didn't have leftover turkey either. But I'll survive (barely). It might be worth a seasonal job at that mall to get served one those thangs.

    4. They look perfect Chris, but I'll bet several of your neighbors were looking for a place to unload some leftover turkey :-)

    5. Once again, you are making my mouth water. These sound fantastic!

    6. Chris, looks great. Question..if you brine your turkey, should you NOT inject?

    7. I've never heard the name, but the sandwich looks so mouthwatering I can't stand it---gotta make them asap.

    8. Yum - love these sammies - sure looks delicious Chris!! We have big family dinners but I always cook a small holiday dinner just for my husband and me just so we have some leftover goodies. I've worked retail in my career & it's HARD work. That was very sweet of you to do that!!

    9. This has got to be one of my favorite turkey leftover recipe out there. I'm glad you highlighted it again! And what a great surprise for Alexis and her co-workers!!

    10. For the first time EVER in my life, I cooked a turkey breast instead of wrestling a whole bird. I loved it. I've got some in the freezer that most certainly will turn into a Hot Brown.

    11. I can't believe I've never had one of these!

    12. You have my deepest sympathies...Thanksgiving in the SUNSHINE state, no turkey to fry, grill, roast and insult to injury, no leftovers! Can't imagine T-Day without wind and rain and the threat of a power outage! Glad you found the last turkey in the country so you could share this recipe - I froze half of our turkey leftovers so I'll make these when the tryptophan wears off!

    13. @Rod - Great question! For turkeys, I usually only do one or the other. I prefer to brine but if I don't have time I'll inject.

      That being said you CAN do both. If doing both, I would do a salt free injection so you don't over salt. Obviously you would also want to make sure the flavors in the brine and injection complement each other.

    14. This is why I wish we were neighbors! I have always wanted to try one of these. They look decadent and delicious.

    15. Oh my gosh...this looks delicious! Did you refrigerate your turkey before carving? The slices look perfect! I wish I had some leftover turkey!

      Kim in MD

    16. I've never had a Kentucky Hot Brown, but I would be all over that. And as the previous poster commented, the slices on your turkey look perfect.

    17. This looks magical! I'm loving finding all these Thanksgiving leftover recipes!! This is for SURE a keeper. And you were in FL for Thanksgiving?! I'm jealous! I've been hesitant about turkey breasts because no dark meat, but I know that turkey injection would set it over the top. I've GOT to make this. May have to run out buy one of those turkey breasts... just about done with my turkey!

    18. This definitely beats all of the old, tired and usual ways to use of turkey day leftovers!

    19. I am so glad I came by here today to play blog catch up - what a yummy day!!! Another recipe I can't wait to try.


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