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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Before Thanksgiving Picnic Sammie

About this time last year, we were meeting a friend for some paddling and a picnic.  I knew we'd work up some pretty hefty appetites given the route we were following and since it was a road trip, I wanted there to be enough left over in case we got hungry on the way home.  I volunteered to make the picnic since, well, it's what I do.  But also because despite being just over a month out from Thanksgiving, I always get a MAD hankering for that fare come September or October.  That's where this sandwich was born.  Here's what you'll need for this but know it's totally customizable to your tastes!

Turkey breast (I used TJ's Organic)
Poultry seasoning and fresh herbs if ya got 'em
Thick Cut Bacon (I used peppered from the local butcher)
Brown sugar
Foccacia Bread (or preferred bread of your choice but this is damn good!)
Trader Joe's Fig Butter
1/3 Fat Cream Cheese
Preferred cream cheese mix in's (I used roasted red peppers, cut scallions and a few dashes of hot sauce)
Arugula lettuce (or preferred lettuce but don't go iceberg because that would just be insulting)
Cheese of your choice (I used Chipotle Gouda)

Season your turkey breasts front and back with poultry seasoning and a little black pepper.  Sear on each side without cooking through.  You're just looking for the sear to seal in the juices.

Throw the breasts into a crock pot with a little water on the bottom and some fresh herbs on top and let them cook until the juices run clear.  (This way you can do other things and not have to worry about drying out the meat)

Now on to the bacon.  This is "billionaire's bacon" which is candied bacon with some ground black pepper and cayenne pepper which gives it a little kick.  You can totally leave the spice off.  Just crumble a wee little bit of brown sugar on top of the bacon which is on a rack so it doesn't sit in grease.  Bake it in the oven for about 7-10 minutes at 400 degrees.  You'll have to watch it closely as it can go from candied to bacon jerky quick and not the good kind.

When your turkey is done, stare at it because it secretly likes to be adored.

Let it rest for 5-10 minutes to keep the juices in tact.  Then slice it to your desired thickness.  I cut one slightly thicker since I was using one breast to be Food Saved  (affiliate link) (an actual verb) and the other for our sammies.

Grab that fluffy foccacia bread, cut it into 4-5 sub width sections then cut those sections in half to get dressed for the show.

First I bring the cream cheese spread to room temperature.   I used roasted red peppers, scallions/chives and a dash of hot sauce.

Spread some on the side that will act as your bottom slice.  (I don't slather too much on, just enough to give flavor.)

Now it's time to break out the fig butter.  If you'd ever told me I'd like this, I'd have said you were nuts but those of you who have been following for a while know it's good for other yummy treats as well!

Spread a decent amount of the fig butter on the other side.

Now it's time to dress this baby for the picnic!  Add turkey slices, 2 slices of bacon and your cheese.

I like to use arugula because it has a subtle peppery bite.

Top it off, wrap it in foil or wax paper and pack in a cooler with a few tea towels wrapped around them to keep them cool but not frozen if you're road tripping.

I'll be honest, I wasn't sure if my non foodie friend would dig the fig butter because she's super picky but halfway through she was like "what's on here that's so good and sweet?"  Score!   She ate half after our paddling adventure and the other half on her way home since dinner was on the road.

Obviously you could use a cranberry jam or something more traditional but this fig butter is so great and the perfect compliment!

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  1. Oh my goodness that looks and sounds so good! We always kick the season off with a full-blown mini turkey day dinner for my brother's October birthday. Yum!!

  2. That sandwich looks like manna from heaven. I want one so badly....but I'm back on the straight and narrow after gaining a few pounds over my son's wedding weekend (understandable--right?), so I'll just have to save the recipe for the future, maybe Thanksgiving leftovers. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. This looks so delicious!! What a great recipe!


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