The Hot Brown


  • 2 pounds boneless turkey breast with skin on
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 8 slices white bread, toasted
  • 12 slices tomato
  • 8 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese, or to taste
  • 1 pinch paprika, or to taste
  • 4 teaspoons chopped Italian parsley, or to taste
  • Directions

  • Step 1

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


  • Step 2

    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.

  • Step 3

    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.

  • Step 4

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

  • Step 5

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

  • Step 6

    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.

  • Step 7

    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.

  • Step 8

    Cut turkey into thick slices. Pull off the skin.

  • Step 9

    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.

  • Step 10

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

  • Step 11

    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.

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