The Legendary Kentucky Hot Brown originated in the 1920’s in the kitchen of the Brown Hotel in Louisville Kentucky, and it’s a well-known dish here in Kentucky. We owe chef Fred Schmidt the credit for this delicious open-faced hot turkey sandwich. If you have never had the pleasure of eating a Kentucky Hot Brown, you’ve been missing out on a wonderful hot dish. This savory comforting dish consists of thick sliced roast turkey, bacon and tomatoes layered atop thick toasted bread and topped with a wonderful creamy rich Mornay sauce. Once you make this recipe one time, which takes no time to make, you’ll be making it time and time again.
Here’s how I made it…
First I made a Mornay sauce by melting some butter in a large skillet…
And adding some flour to the melted butter…
Then I whisked it constantly over medium heat for a minute or so, until it thickened and the flour had time to cook out…
Next, I added some heavy cream, salt and pepper, and continued to whisk the mixture until it started to thicken…
Then I added some shredded cheese, and removed it from the heat. I let the cheese melt and mixed it in.
Next I removed the edges from four slices of Texas toast, and although not shown here, I toasted the bread, and placed a slice in each of four baking dishes…
Then I placed thick slices of roasted turkey on each slice of toasted bread…
Followed by two large slices of tomato, placed over the edges and base of the turkey…
Next I poured the Mornay sauce over the top…
Then yes…I sprinkled more cheese on top of the Mornay sauce…
Then I placed each dish under my broiler for a minute or so until the cheese was bubbly and lightly browned…Note: Do not walk away from the oven when doing this step…it doesn’t take long to over brown the cheese…
Lastly I removed each dish from the oven, and finished the dish by crisscrossing two pieces of cooked bacon on the top, followed by a light sprinkling of paprika and some fresh chopped parsley…
And I couldn’t wait to dig in….YUM! I call this Kentucky comfort food at its best!!!
Make this and enjoy!
An open faced hot turkey sandwich, topped with tomatoes, bacon and a wonderful creamy Mornay sauce.
- 1/2 stick real butter
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 quart heavy whipping cream minus 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup shredded Kraft Italian Five Cheese blend, more for garnishing
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices Texas toast, edges removed and toasted
- 1 pound thick sliced roasted turkey breast
- 8 slices crisp cooked bacon
- 3–4 large ripe thick sliced tomatoes
- Paprika and fresh parsley for garnish
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly to form a roux. Whisk for at least one minute, to allow the flour taste to cook out. Add the cream, salt and pepper, and continue to whisk until the mixture begins to thicken, about two minutes. Remove from heat and add the cheese, whisking until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick, smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- Place a slice of toast in four separate baking dishes. Place one fourth of the sliced turkey on each toast slice. Place two slices of tomato alongside of the base of the turkey and toast. Pour one fourth of the Mornay sauce over the turkey and tomato in each dish. Sprinkle additional cheese over the Mornay sauce.
- Place the dishes under a broiler for about one minute until the cheese is bubbly and just starting to lightly brown and remove from the oven.
- Lightly sprinkle the tops with paprika and garnish with fresh parsley.
- Serve immediately.
- The original Kentucky Hot Brown recipe calls for Pecorino Romano cheese, which is a very sharp cheese with a bite. I used the Kraft five cheese blend, a milder cheese, and thought it was perfect in the Mornay sauce.
- Serving Size: 4