The turkey club sandwich is simply a BLT on top of a turkey sandwich. This recipe might not have made it into this book had my wife and I not taken a trip to Minneapolis.
But in Minneapolis, no matter where we went, no one made it properly. The first one was a turkey, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, cut in half diagonally. The next was the same, only this one did have bacon. At the third place she ordered it, we made sure it would be a double-decker with tomato-bacon-lettuce. Yes, we were assured; it was a traditional turkey club. And it will be cut in quarters? Yes, said the waiter. “Diagonally?” I confirmed. “Of course,” he said.
The very same waiter arrived with the sandwich, set it before my wife, and vanished. It was a BLT with turkey, cut in half. Lengthwise.
I think it’s a matter of respect. When I was at the Culinary Institute, they had an actual diagram of a proper turkey sandwich in my lunch cookery booklet. But now, the turkey club has become the Rodney Dangerfield of the sandwich world.
Let’s take it back. Make it for dinner one night, with a side of fries and a salad. Put toothpicks on your shopping list, preferably the kind with colorful frilly ends.
The turkey club is especially good if you use turkey breast you roast yourself. Given how easy it is to roast a breast on the bone (and that’s key—on the bone keeps it moist), it’s not bad simply to have around all week for sandwiches. (Save the bones to add to your next Easy Overnight Chicken—and Turkey—Stock.)
Be sure to put the mayonnaise on all three sides of the toast that will face the interior of the sandwich (make that four sides if you want to do both sides of the middle slice); this fat barrier will prevent tomato juices from soaking into the bread and making it soggy, and it ensures that all bites of the sandwich are nice and moist.
Spread each piece of toast with a goodly amount of mayonnaise—don’t be stingy. Divide the turkey among half of the pieces of toast. Top with another piece of toast, mayonnaise side up. Rest 3 or 4 pieces of bacon on top of this, then the tomato, then the lettuce. Put the final piece of toast, mayonnaise side down, on the lettuce. Put a toothpick into each quadrant of each sandwich. Slice each sandwich diagonally into quarters and serve.
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