Not your average hot turkey sandwich, the Hot Brown was invented at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky to absorb the bourbon that guests would enjoy well into the night.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
1 hr 10 mins
total:
1 hr 30 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
For the Turkey (Enough for 4 portions):
For 4 Hot Browns:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

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  • Season the skinless side of the turkey breast with 1/2 of the kosher salt and herbes de Provence. Season the skin side with the remaining kosher salt. Place turkey skin-side up into an oiled baking dish.

  • Roast in the preheated oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the turkey registers 148 degrees F (64 degrees C), 45 to 60 minutes.

  • Place bacon on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Remove turkey from the oven and let cool.

  • Bake bacon in the hot oven until about halfway cooked, 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Stir in flour until combined. Cook, stirring occasionally, until roux smells like cooked pie crust, about 3 minutes. Whisk in cream all at once. Cook until Mornay sauce is thickened and starting to boil, about 5 minutes. Immediately turn off the heat.

  • Season Mornay sauce with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese until combined. Add nutmeg and stir briefly.

  • Cut turkey into thick slices. Pull off the skin.

  • Stack 2 bread slices on top of each other and trim off the crusts. Cut 1 slice into 2 triangles. Place bread in a small baking dish set on top of a sheet pan. Top bread with 3 slices of turkey. Place 3 tomato slices in between. Ladle 1/4 of the Mornay sauce all over and cover with 2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese. Sprinkle with paprika; lay the partially cooked bacon across the top. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 3 more servings.

  • Set an oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven's broiler.

  • Bake under the broiler until bacon is crispy and the tops are well browned, about 5 minutes. Place on napkin-lined plates and sprinkle parsley over each dish.

Chef's Notes:

Feel free to buy thick-cut deli turkey so you don't have to make the turkey yourself.

Substitute Parmesan cheese or a nice extra-sharp Cheddar for the Pecorino Romano if desired. Substitute cayenne for the paprika if preferred.

Instead of broiling, you can finish by baking in the oven at 475 degrees F (246 degrees C) for the same results. To cheat, you can cook bacon crisp separately, and just top the finished dish, but I think it tastes better if you brown with the bacon on top.

Nutrition Facts

1280 calories; protein 88.7g; carbohydrates 36.6g; fat 85.4g; cholesterol 399.6mg; sodium 2841mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (14)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
05/06/2018
This recipe is spot on and stays true to the original Brown Hotel recipe. As someone who does not like turkey, the rich, creamy mornay sauce made it delightfully palatable. The sauce was perfectly smooth and silky and tasted like an elegant white country gravy. Pecorino cheese makes all of the difference in the world. It’s pricey, but well worth the indulgence. I believe I added at least 1/4tsp. or more of black pepper, about 1/8tsp. nutmeg(I love nutmeg), and skipped the cayenne pepper. I used up some leftover turkey, so I didn’t make that part of the recipe. A thick Texas style toast is a must--buttered and grilled in a skillet until golden brown. Then assembled as directed. So good! Did I mention it’s rich? Mmmm! Read More
(7)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
07/22/2019
I live in Louisville Ky and have had the hot brown at the Brown Hotel and it is amazing! I made this hot brown and it was ok but not like the original. The 2 tablespoons of salt it calls for I'm so glad i didn't put that in this recipe! I used 1 teaspoon instead and it was very salty!! For one thing you have the salt from the cheese too. I'm a salt lover but this was so salty. Other than that it was just ok. Read More
(2)
20 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 17
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
05/06/2018
This recipe is spot on and stays true to the original Brown Hotel recipe. As someone who does not like turkey, the rich, creamy mornay sauce made it delightfully palatable. The sauce was perfectly smooth and silky and tasted like an elegant white country gravy. Pecorino cheese makes all of the difference in the world. It’s pricey, but well worth the indulgence. I believe I added at least 1/4tsp. or more of black pepper, about 1/8tsp. nutmeg(I love nutmeg), and skipped the cayenne pepper. I used up some leftover turkey, so I didn’t make that part of the recipe. A thick Texas style toast is a must--buttered and grilled in a skillet until golden brown. Then assembled as directed. So good! Did I mention it’s rich? Mmmm! Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
05/08/2018
Made it exactly like chef John said. It was wonderful and easy! Read More
(4)
Rating: 3 stars
07/21/2019
I live in Louisville Ky and have had the hot brown at the Brown Hotel and it is amazing! I made this hot brown and it was ok but not like the original. The 2 tablespoons of salt it calls for I'm so glad i didn't put that in this recipe! I used 1 teaspoon instead and it was very salty!! For one thing you have the salt from the cheese too. I'm a salt lover but this was so salty. Other than that it was just ok. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
05/10/2018
Wonderful I did not have the 'de provencia or what ever spice it called for. I found bakery bread with that in it which added a wonderful flavor. Yummy Read More
(2)
Rating: 4 stars
07/28/2019
another winner from chef john. i followed the recipe exactly and it was very tasty. the only snafu was that i discovered my broiler is on the fritz when i went to finish them so i had to finish them using the hot oven. regardless it was still extremely tasty. i used the pecorino romano but i could definitely see where a good sharp cheddar would work too. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
09/17/2018
Another excellent recipe from Chef John. The Mornay needed quite a bit of seasoning and I ended up using at least 3/4 cup of Romano to get it just right. I've never been to Louisville to have the original so I have nothing to compare against but the final result was really really good! That tomato is just PERFECT in there. I have a lot of turkey and sauce left over so I'm going to try a few modifications tomorrow. I think I'll try using toasted rye or pumpernickle bread and slice the turkey a bit thinner and add a few thin slices of ham. Can't wait. I highly recommend this recipe. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/27/2020
I made it exactly the way it said, next time i will make all 4 in one baking dish Read More
Rating: 4 stars
04/11/2020
I lived in Evansville, IN, and often traveled to Louisville on business. No trip to Louisville was complete without lunch at the Brown Hotel experiencing their famous open face sandwich. Chef John’s interpretation is quite good, although I eliminated the added salt the second iteration. (I believe that the saltiness of the pecorino Romano cheese and the bacon add sufficient salt to this dish. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
09/07/2020
Thank you Chef John! I made this Hot Brown post Kentucky Derby. The only change I made was to add a pinch of paprika to the Mornay sauce and again to the top of the Hot Brown; furthermore, I did not add any additional pecorino romano cheese to the top of the Hot Brown. The lack of the later addition probably accounts for the non plus of the browning on the top of my dish as it lacked the fat to accommodate a proper brown. Read More
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