Kentucky Hot Browns are perfect for leftover turkey, but they’re so good, you don’t have to wait for the Thanksgiving. Turkey on a roll or toast, covered with a cheesy béchamel sauce, don’t forget the bacon!
Did you know that today is National Poultry Day. It seems that everything has a “day” now. As much poultry as we eat, I think it deserves it’s own day. Normally I would share a chicken recipe but I thought I would mix it up a bit and share Kentucky Hot Browns, one of our family favorite dishes made with turkey.
It’s tradition in our house that we have hot browns with left-over turkey, the day after Thanksgiving. I forget about fixing hot browns at other times of the year. However, it’s almost as good using turkey sliced from the deli with toasted square biscuits or you can use rotisserie chicken.
After a holiday meal, I’ll use whatever bread is left over, rolls or biscuits or just plain toast will all work great. If there are no left overs, French Bread is a great choice.
What’s a Kentucky Hot Brown
I grew up in Kentucky and my husband is from Kentucky so I feel I’m an expert on this particular dish. A Hot Brown consists of any type of toasted bread covered with turkey and smothered in cheese sauce. Top with a little bacon and a tomato slice for an amazing dish.
You can make this as cheesy as you like but we prefer just a little cheese added to a wonderful creamy béchamel sauce. Throw a little bacon on top and you have a Hot Brown made famous at The Brown Hotel in Louisville. People come from all over just to have the original version, including me on a visit last summer.
I think my recipe is pretty close to the one they serve at The Brown Hotel. I actually ate this, or part of it anyway, for breakfast!
How do you make my Kentucky Hot Brown recipe
Step 1: Toast the roll, bread or biscuit so that it’s slightly toasted and place in a large baking dish or in individual baking dishes.
Step 2: Top the toasted bread with slices of turkey.
Step 3: Make a béchamel sauce with flour, milk and butter and when slightly thickened add Romano cheese. Pore about ½ cup of cheese sauce over the turkey. If you prefer a thinner cheddar cheese sauce, try the sauce that I use in my Broccoli Cheese Casserole.
Step 4: Place under a broiler until it bubbly and brown. Remove and add cooked bacon and a tomato slice and serve.
Why you should make Hot Browns after Thanksgiving
The best reason to make a hot brown after Thanksgiving is that you have leftover Turkey and generally leftover rolls or biscuits. If not you can use any type of bread. It takes very minimal time and effort and after all the preparations the day before, no one wants to be in the kitchen.
And finally, everyone can prepare theirs just the way they like it. This is especially nice if you have picky eaters in the house. You can even make it vegetarian and just pour the cheese sauce over a biscuit, everyone is happy. Still have leftover turkey, then try making a turkey pot pie galette, it’s heavenly!.
The girls were both home for Spring break last week and this was the perfect comfort food to serve for stressed out college students.
Bread for the base
- My first choice is always a biscuit! If you need gluten free, these Gluten Free Biscuits are just as good
- Challah rolls also a great choice
- However, fluffy dinner rolls while so soft, will taste fabulous
- And you can never go wrong with Hawaiian Rolls
More recipes to fix around the holiday
- Make English Muffin Melts so everyone can make their own breakfast
- Or a batch of Hawaiian Cinnamon rolls
- If you’re eating later, make some Mushroom Logs to tide people over
- A batch of Roasted Nuts with Sage is always great to have on hand
If you loved this recipe, give it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating! Also, snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #butterandbaggage and tagging me @butterandbaggage.
Kentucky Hot Brown
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups cream/milk
- ½ cups pecorino Romano cheese
- pinch nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- 4 thick slices French bread or biscuit sliced in half
- 4-8 thick slices turkey
- 8 slices bacon cooked
- Preheat broiler
- Place thick sliced French bread on a baking pan under broiler and toast. Remove and place in individual baking dishes.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Warm cream/milk in the microwave and add it slowly to the flour mixture whisking for 2-3 minutes until it just comes to a simmer. It should not be too thick. Whisk in ¼ cup cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper.
- Add turkey slices to the top of the toasted bread. Pour ½ cup of sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place under broiler and cook until it is bubbly and lightly brown. Remove and top with cooked bacon and tomatoes if desired
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