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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chew on This | Derby Day Hot Brown Appetizers

Horses, fancy hats, mint juleps, roses and parties - I think you know where I'm going with this.

The 137th Run for the Roses (The Kentucky Derby) is Saturday, and though we've never been there in person, we do celebrate the running in our way, with food and drink.
Today I'm making my version of mini Hot Brown's, which are a smaller offering of the popular Kentucky sandwich made with turkey, bacon, tomato and melted cheese.  My appetizers, made with chicken, are crunchy and loaded with flavor. Perfect for a Derby Day party or any party for that matter!

This is what you will need to make these yummy mini Hot Brown'sCooked, sliced chicken,
bacon, Roma tomatoes, butter, flour, cream, milk, extra sharp cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, cayenne pepper and a package of pumpernickel party bread.

I start by placing the pumpernickel bread on a greased baking sheet and toasting them under a broiler for 4 minutes. Then I fry and crumble 8 slices of bacon.  Slice two cooked chicken breasts about 1/4" thick and 5 Roma tomatoes about the same thickness.  Grate the cheddar cheese and the Parmesan cheese.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over low heat.  Drop in the flour and stir constantly
until smooth.

Next, pour in the cream and milk and continue to stir as the mixture thickens. 

When thickened, slowly add the grated cheddar cheese and whisk until it is melted and smooth.

The cheese is thick so it will stay on the bread when it is heated.

On to assembling the Hot Brown's.  Add a generous amount of melted cheese to the top of each toasted bread, then add a slice of chicken and top with a slice of tomato.

Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese on the top of the tomato and off to a hot oven they go for 4 minutes.  Broil for 1 minute or just until the cheese starts to bubble. Oh, so good!

As soon as the appetizers are bubbly, remove from the oven, top with the crumbled bacon, transfer to a serving plate and run for the roses or just get the party started.


Here is the recipe:

Derby Day Hot Brown Appetizers

1/4 cup butter
1/4 C flour
3/4 C cream
1/4 C milk
salt to taste
1/2 t cayenne, or more to taste 
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
8 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
5 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced 1/4" thick
1/2 C Parmesan cheese, freshly grated 
1 package of pumpernickel party bread

On a lightly greased baking sheet, arrange pumpernickel bread slices and toast for 4 minutes under a broiler.

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over low heat.  Add the flour and stir until smooth.
While whisking constantly, add the cream and milk.  Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens.  Add the cayenne and salt to taste.  Add the grated cheddar cheese and continue to stir until the cheese is melted and smooth.

Top each toasted bread with some of the melted cheese mixture.   Add a slice of chicken
and top with a slice of tomato.  Sprinkle tomato with grated Parmesan cheese.

Broil appetizers for 1 minute or until Parmesan is melted and bubbly.  Remove from oven and top with the crumbled bacon.  Serve immediately.

To make ahead: Prepare the cheese mixture, cook and slice the chicken, fry and crumble the bacon, and grate the Parmesan the day before the party. To reheat cheese mixture, place pan over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and warm. Assemble and proceed as directed.


  1. Oh yum....what an awesome app. My husband would be crazed for these.

  2. Yum!! I'm ready to make these lil hot browns. Great job!