‘Tis the season of dwindling daylight hours, a not-so-occasional drizzle and, for many of us, a craving for tasty comfort food. Our hot turkey sandwich falls in that category, and is a proven favorite with our guests at Quil Ceda Creek Casino’s The Kitchen.
Served open-faced, this rib-sticking classic begins with the preparation of a seasoned turkey breast roast and mouthwatering gravy. (Turkey and gravy leftovers from holiday meals are a sound alternative, too.)
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
Oven roasted turkey breast
3 pounds boneless turkey breast roast
½ cup sliced onions
½ cup sliced carrots
½ cup sliced celery
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons turkey seasoning
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place onions, celery and carrots in a roasting pan (this mixture is known as mirepoix); spread evenly from corner to corner.
Place the turkey breast in a large bowl. Remove packaging and retain netting (if provided) to maintain shape. Pat dry with a kitchen towel.
Rub the turkey with olive oil; season with the pre-mixed turkey seasoning on both sides.
Place the turkey breast on the roasting pan with the mirepoix.
Bake for approximately 40-50 minutes. The internal temperature should reach 165-170 degrees.
Place the cooked turkey on a heatproof container; allow to cool for 5 minutes and refrigerate.
The turkey is easier to slice when cold, and it helps retain juices. Slice to the desired thickness across its long side.
Turkey gravy stock
4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 ribs of celery, coarsely chopped
1 dried bay leaf
10 whole black peppercorns
Place all ingredients in a large stockpot with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; immediately reduce to a simmer and cook 1½ to 2 hours. Strain and discard solids. Use immediately or let liquid cool completely and transfer to an airtight container
Gravy, final preparation
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup dry white wine
Turkey drippings from roasting pan
4 cups of turkey stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When butter begins to bubble, whisk in flour. Cook, whisking often, until flour is cooked through and has a nutty fragrance (10 to 15 minutes). Remove roux (flour and butter mix) from heat and let cool to room temperature. Use immediately (or transfer to an airtight container and keep refrigerated up to one month).
Pour pan drippings into a fat separator to remove fat (alternatively, pour pan drippings into a glass bowl and use a spoon to remove fat from top of drippings). Set aside.
Place reserved roasting pan over 2 burners on medium heat. Pour wine into pan; using a wooden spoon, stir, scraping up bottom bits from pan. Let cook until wine is reduced to 3 tablespoons (about 2 minutes); add reserved pan drippings. Add 4 cups hot turkey stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in 4 to 5 tablespoons of roux mixture and return to a boil; let simmer until gravy is thick, adding more roux if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.
Hot turkey sandwich
6 pieces sliced roasted turkey breast
¾ cup warm mashed potatoes
⅓ cup turkey gravy
4-inch slice ciabatta bread, cut in half lengthwise at center
1 teaspoon softened butter
4 tablespoons cranberry sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter the top of both portions of the sliced ciabatta; arrange open-faced on a small oven-proof pan.
Distribute the mashed potatoes evenly on the ciabatta.
Divide the sliced turkey and place equal portions on top of the potatoes.
Bake open-faced for approximately 2 minutes or until hot.
Carefully place the sandwich on a plate; ladle the turkey gravy over the top and serve with a side of cranberry sauce if you have any.
With over 35 years’ experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry, Diane Lasswell is the assistant director of kitchen operations at the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino. She oversees and executes the menu at dining choices throughout the casino including The Landing, the innovative food hall experience at The Kitchen, and the Keg Bar.