My plan to try my hand at a savory maple recipe happened to coincide with a craving for a club sandwich, and my weekly trip to the Carroll Gardens greenmarket. While there, I snagged Di Paula farm's very last turkey breast (score!). And while I'd originally planned to use regular bacon for my sandwich, I changed my mind when I spotted the Hudson Valley Duck Farm's duck bacon. Mmm..duck bacon. —Cristina Sciarra
1 egg yolk, at room temperature, as fresh as possible
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided, plus more for the sandwiches
freshly ground black pepper
about 1 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 turkey breast (about 3 pounds)
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
zest of ½ a small orange
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
12 slices duck bacon
18 slices Pullman bread (or any good quality white bread)
2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 head Boston bib lettuce, washed and dried
In This Recipe
Make the thyme mayonnaise: Empty the egg yolk into a small bowl and mix with the minced garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard and a few generous turns of the pepper mill. Slowly incorporate the oil in a thin stream, while constantly beating with a fork or mini whisk. Continue whisking for about 5 minutes, until the mayonnaise has risen in the bowl, turned a very pale yellow and has a consistency firm enough to stick handily to the back of a spoon. Add sea salt to taste, and then the thyme. Let the mayonnaise rest in the fridge, covered, for at least one hour before use. (This can also be made a night ahead.)
Prepare the maple turkey breast: Sprinkle the turkey breast generously with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Sere the turkey breast, a few minutes on each side. Remove to a plate.
Deglaze the Dutch oven with 1 cup of water. In a small bowl, combine ¾ cup maple syrup, the brown sugar, the remaining tablespoon of Dijon mustard, the orange zest, the bay leaf and the butter. Stir to combine, and then add to the Dutch oven. Give it a good stir, and heat until almost bubbling.
Add the turkey to the Dutch oven. Give it a quick brush all over with the maple glaze, and then put the lid on. Cook for 20 minutes, and then flip and baste the turkey breast. Cook for another 20 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 165F, 35-40 minutes.
Remove the turkey to a cutting board, tent it with foil and let it rest for about 20-25 minutes.
Prepare the maple bacon: Preheat the oven to 350F.
Set the duck bacon on a rack over a baking sheet. Move the baking sheet to the oven and cook for about 6 minutes, or until it looks like it is just starting to get crispy. Remove the duck bacon from the oven just long enough to brush it with maple syrup, then continue cooking it for another minute or two. When it comes out of the oven, crack a little black pepper on top.
Assemble the sandwiches: Toast all of the bread. Cut the bacon in half and slice the turkey.
Swipe a layer of mayonnaise onto 6 slices of toast. Place turkey slices on top of the mayonnaise, and then the tomato. Add another slide of toast, and then swipe on a layer of Dijon mustard. Add the lettuce, and then bacon. Top with the last slices of toast.
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.