The club sandwich is a summertime classic. Well, it is for me anyway. I spent a summer living in New Hampshire a million years ago. I ended up golfing about three times a week for three months straight. After every round, we’d head to the clubhouse and I’d get a club sandwich (with an old fashioned to wash it down).
The problem with getting a club sandwich at “the club” — or any restaurant, really — is that they’re extremely hit and miss. Who could screw up a BLT that’s topped with a turkey sandwich? On paper, not many. But dry turkey plagues this summer treat. The turkey club at the golf club I frequented that long-ago summer had their roast turkey breast on lock. It was moist, well-seasoned, and offered a perfect counterpoint to the salty and smoked bacon below.
Turkey like that isn’t the norm, though. I’ve had way more shitty club sandwiches — with dried-out or plasticky turkey — than good ones.
To avoid the dried-out turkey death sentence, I’m changing things up. I’m going the turkey schnitzel route. A properly shallow-fried turkey cutlet is the perfect way to add always-moist turkey to a club. Plus, schnitzel sandwiches rule in general. So a turkey schnitzel sandwich stacked atop a classic BLT? That feels like the ultimate version of this classic sando.
Let’s get cooking!
The Schnitzel Club Sandwich
- 6-oz. turkey breast cutlets
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup AP flour
- 1/4 rye bread crumbs
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 Roma tomato
- Iceberg lettuce
- 3 slices white bread
- Brown mustard
- 4 cups sunflower oil
- 1/2 lemon
This is all pretty easy-to-find stuff from your local grocery store. The turkey breast cutlets I’m using are thin slices from a whole turkey breast. You can usually get these from a butcher shop pretty easily. Otherwise, you might have to buy a whole raw breast and slice a cutlet from it yourself. I’m not pounding these out to a super-thin Viennese-style schnitzel. This is going to be closer to a katsu sando in thickness with a Germanic culinary tradition. I also ended up using two three-ounce cutlets instead of one large cutlet. It’s just how things shook out at the butcher shop.
As for the rest, it’s again pretty straightforward. Roma tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, mayo, brown mustard, and white bread slices are some of the easiest things to find at any grocery store. I’m using pretty thin bacon for the BLT element simply because this is already huge. In the end, just make sure you get high-quality ingredients.
What You’ll Need:
- Large, heavy-bottomed saute pan
- Cast iron skillet
- Wire rack and cookie sheet
- Cutting boards
- Kitchen knife
- Bread knife
- Paper towels
- Butter knife
- Three medium plastic bowls (for dredging)
- 4 cocktail sticks
- Start by making the schnitzel. Salt the turkey cutlets on both sides.
- Place the flour, egg, and bread crumbs in three separate plastic bowls. Scramble the egg and add a big pinch of salt and a few cranks from the pepper mill to the bread crumb.
- Dredge the cutlets in flour, egg, and bread crumbs in that order. Set on a plate or the cutting board and let rest while you prep the rest of the sandwich and heat the frying oil.
- Add about four cups (one liter) of sunflower oil to a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan. It should be about an inch deep. It’ll be ready when it hits 350F.
- Preheat an oven on your lowest setting and ready a cookie sheet with a wire rack for draining and keeping the turkey schnitzel warm.
- Place four slices of bacon in a cold skillet and put it on medium heat.
- Once the oil reaches temp, gently lay in the cutlets. Use the tongs to flip after about 30 to 45 seconds. The coating should be a copper brown. Flip again after another 45 seconds.
- After another 45 or so seconds, remove the schnitzel from the oil and place it on a wire rack to drain. Immediately hit the schnitzel with fresh lemon juice. Place in the oven to keep warm. (If you’re worried about doneness, use a meat thermometer to make sure you’ve hit 150f)
- Use tongs to flip the bacon as it browns. Once it’s nicely browned, place the bacon on a plate with paper towels to drain excess fat.
- Pop the bread in the toaster.
- While that’s toasting, ready leaves of iceberg lettuce and slice the Roma tomatoes.
- Once the bread is toasted, retrieve the schnitzel from the oven and get ready to build the sandwich.
- Spread mayo on the bottom toast slice. Add lettuce, tomato, and bacon in that order.
- Spread mustard on the top slice of toast and place mustard-side down on the bacon.
- Spread mayo on the top of that slice.
- Place the schnitzel on the mayo-spread toast slice.
- Place the iceberg and tomato on that.
- Finally, spread a layer of mustard on the top toast slice and place it on top of the sandwich.
- Add a large cocktail stick in each corner quadrant of the sandwich and press down to compress this very large sandwich into something you can get your mouth around.
- Use a large bread knife to cut into quarters.
There was no dry turkey breast here. The schnitzel was moist, crunchy, and added a pretty hefty layer to the club.
The BLT on the bottom half was on the lighter side since I purposefully used thin-cut bacon. It still ruled. The bacon combined with the schnitzel was a big win in the flavor department.
The mayo, mustard, iceberg, and tomato lent a nostalgic feel to the whole sandwich. It really felt like I was eating at an old-school deli (or golf clubhouse) that actually cared about their food deeply.
Did this need the middle slice of toast (or the club slice)? Probably not. I think the breading on the schnitzel kind of covers that element. However, that club slice with the extra mayo and mustard was a nice touch that helped keep things saucy and moist.
Overall, this was a massive lunch that absolutely didn’t need fries or chips on the side to make you “I need a midday nap”-level full. That’s not a bad thing on a hot summer day.