Kelly's Kentucky Hot Brown

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
If you cook a turkey: 2 hours
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 565kcal
This is an original Louisville, Kentucky culinary delight.  If you don't live near Kentucky chances are you have never heard of this sandwich.  My Philly husband - the king of sandwiches - had never heard of such a thing. 
According to Louisville's Brown Hotel, this is the history of this legendary dish. 
"In the 1920's, The Brown Hotel drew over 1,200 guests each evening for its dinner dance. By the wee hours of the morning, guests would grow weary of dancing and make their way to the restaurant for a bite to eat. Sensing their desire for something more glamorous than traditional ham and eggs, Chef Fred Schmidt set out to create something new to tempt his guests' palates. His unique dish? An open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and a delicate Mornay sauce. The Hot Brown was born!"  Here's the original famous recipe.
I like to use fresh ingredients from the farmers market, so plan a morning outing to the market and make these for a hearty lunch. You won't find these on any diet plan - so don't even think about.  It has to be a Mornay sauce and there really is no way to lighten it up.  So just sit back, relax and enjoy.  you can walk an extra mile tomorrow.
I use my grilled citrus brined Turkey for this recipe, you can find it here.
Print Recipe



  • 1 citrus brined grill turkey breast or cooked roast turkey breast - about 4 to 5 pounds - not deli turkey, you want thick slices of turkey a simple roast turkey recipe is detailed below.
  • 2 Green or heirloom tomatoes
  • 16 slices of cooked thick cut bacon - very crispy - no droopy bacon for this hot brown*
  • 1 bunch Parsley finely chopped- optional
  • Paprika

For the sauce:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese - plus extra for garnish
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper


  • 8 1/2-inch thick slices good farmers market type hearty white bread
  • Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter - to butter the bread



    For the Turkey

      Simple Roast Turkey Recipe

        To roast a turkey

        • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
        • Drizzle olive oil over the breast season with salt and pepper.
        • Place in a small roasting pan and roast for 20 - 30 minutes.
        • Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 155 degrees F, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
        • Remove from the oven, loosely tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
        • Slice thickly.

        For Mornay Sauce

        • In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined to form a roux or a thick paste-like consistency - you want this to be very smooth, so go slow adding the flour.
        • Continue to cook roux for 2 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently - you want a light golden brown color - if it starts to get dark go to the next step.
        • Whisk heavy cream into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer about 2-3 minutes.
        • Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino-Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth.
        • Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste.


        • Lightly butter both sides of the bread with Kerrygold soft butter
        • In a large skillet or griddle toast both sides of each piece of bread

        To assemble:

        • Preheat broiler.
        • Place roast in an oven safe dish or sheet pan.
        • Top each piece of toast with 2 slices of turkey and a slice of tomato, pour the sauce over the top of the turkey and toast to cover and sprinkle with additional cheese.
        • Place under the broiler and cook until the cheese and sauce are bubbly and the top is nicely browned.
        • Remove from the oven, top each slice with 2 slices of crispy bacon - laid across each other and sprinkle each slice with paprika then parsley.
        • Serve immediately.


        It seems like a lot of steps for a "sandwich", but this is not just any sandwich - this is history.
        If you are doing this for a Derby party, you can grill the bread and finish the sandwiches on the grill, as well.  That way you don't miss any of the party.
        To get the bacon extra crispy and reduce the fat, bake @ 450 degrees on a wire rack placed inside a sheet pan.  Perfect crispy bacon every time!


        Calories: 565kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 691mg | Potassium: 275mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 970IU | Vitamin C: 7.6mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 1.4mg
        Did you love this recipe? Please Share!Mention @MermaidsandMojitos or tag #mermaidsandmojitos!



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