I've always loved the pillow-y tower of sandwich bliss that is known as the “turkey club”. Sure, it may seem a bit daunting in size at first glance, but the turkey club has a notoriously hard-to-resist layering of the most delectably savory fillings one could ever hope for in a humble sandwich: succulent roasted turkey breast; crispy, salty and smoky bacon; juicy and ripe, thick-sliced summer tomato; flavorful, creamy cheese, and some mouthwatering mayo spread that ties it all together into the perfectly portable mouth-stuffer that it is. That first bite taken in the center of the sandwich “smushes” everything deliciously together, and the salty-tangy-creamy juices mingle together to form the perfect burst of flavor, bite after heavenly bite. Which makes this particular sandwich a “club” worth becoming a devouring member of.
I'm a sandwich lover, through and through; but typically, I'll just grab a few of my favorite fix-ins to create something that I can quickly put together so I can be on my merry, munching way. But every now and again, I get a taste for something a little extra-special and less thrown-together; I get a hankering for a sandwich with home-made elements, with a touch of time put into it, and with a few special flourishes that'll make that piled-high stack more of a special treat for me to indulge in. And that's when a sandwich like a turkey club becomes the perfect sandwich to raise the bar on, and to take to the next level. Home-made, black-pepper crusted turkey breast roasted until juicy and sliced thin, layered with sweet and smoky maple-bourbon glazed crispy bacon on toasted bread that's been slathered in a savory-herb mayo? OK, now we're talking. It's a slower, more detail-oriented version of “fast” food; a version that makes me want to sit down at the table, place a napkin over my lap like a lady, and enjoy my meal rather than taking bites in between other things that I'm doing. It's extra special, especially delicious, and deliciously worth taking the extra time to do.
So here's to raising the bar just a bit higher on the already-mouthwatering “turkey club” sandwich, and making it a genuine triple threat with three home-made elements that'll take it over the top and set it apart. Juicy, crispy, succulent and toasty, this glorious triple decker'll have you chomping at the bit to become a card-carrying member of the “piled-high” club; and that's one club that's worth joining in my humble, sandwich-lovin' opinion.
Taste what's good and pass it on.
The “Triple Threat” Triple Decker Turkey Club Sandwich with Homemade Roasted Turkey Breast, Maple-Bourbon Glazed Crispy Bacon, Juicy Summer Tomatoes and Sliced Mozzarella, with Savory, Herb-Mayo
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(Makes 4 sandwiches)
2 - 2 ½ lb turkey half-breast (with rib bones)
• Olive oil
• Freshly cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
12 strips uncooked, apple-smoked bacon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon bourbon
12 slices Texas toast (thick-cut bread), lightly toasted (*see note)
• Savory Herb Mayo (recipe below)
8 slices Mozzarella cheese
• Arugula (about 2 cups)
• Tomato slices (about 16 slices)
(*You can toast the bread all at once by placing it on baking sheet for a few moments in a 400° oven until light, golden-brown.)
-Preheat the oven to 400°; line two baking sheets with foil, and place a wire rack on top of each baking sheet.
-Place the turkey breast on a large platter or in a large bowl, and drizzle over about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil; in a small ramekin, combine ½ teaspoon of salt, ¾ teaspoon of cracked black pepper, the Italian seasoning, paprika and garlic powder, and sprinkle the seasoning mix over the entire turkey breast, rubbing it in all over the skin and meat; place the seasoned turkey breast onto one of the wire rack-lined baking sheets, and roast on the top rack of the oven for about 1 hour, or until golden-brown and cooked through.
-While the turkey is roasting, arrange the strips of bacon on the wire rack of the other baking sheet; in a small ramekin, combine the maple syrup and the bourbon, and gently brush each strip of bacon with about half of the mixture; give a twist or two of cracked pepper, then flip over the strips and brush the other sides with the remaining syrup/bourbon, and give another twist of pepper; place the bacon into the oven on the rack below the turkey to cook/crisp during the last 22-24 minutes of the turkey's roasting time.
-Once the turkey breast is roasted, using tongs, carefully transfer it to a large plate, and allow it to almost completely cool; place the crisped bacon onto paper towels to drain off any fat, then cut the strips in half, and set aside.
-Once turkey is cool, gently remove the bone and ribs with your fingers by pulling them out along the bottom of the breast; slice the turkey breast as thinly as possible (I used my electric serrated knife), and set the meat aside on a plate.
-To assemble the sandwiches, place 3 slices of the Texas toast in front of you, and spread a generous layer of the Savory Herb Mayo on one side of each slice of toast; add 1 slice of the cheese and about ¼ cup of the arugula to the first slice of toast, then add several slices of the roasted turkey; next, add 3 half-slices of bacon, and then a couple of tomato slices; cover that layer with a slice of toast with its mayo-side up, then again add a slice of cheese, ¼ cup of arugula, then turkey, then 3 more half-slices of bacon and tomato slices, then cover that layer with the remaining slice of toast, mayo-side down this time; slice the sandwich in half or in quarters; repeat the process with the remaining sandwiches, and serve with your favorite sides.
Savory Herb Mayo ingredients:
½ cup mayo
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• Pinch of salt
• Pinch of cracked black pepper
-Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor, and process for a few moments until well blended and creamy; cover with plastic and keep in fridge until ready to serve.