Tom Colicchio’s Turkey & Avocado Sandwich Recipe

From Bravo's Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio, co-author of 'wichcraft. Roasted turkey, creamy avocado, bacon and balsamic onion marmalade pack this hearty sandwich full of flavour. Make them with leftover cuts of Thanksgiving turkey, too.

Balsamic Onion Marmalade
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar

6 fresh sage leaves
1 (3 to 4 lb.) boneless turkey breast
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 slices bacon
4 ciabatta rolls
1/2 cup Balsamic Onion Marmalade (see above)
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and sliced
4 tbsp mayonnaise


This recipe is one of our biggest sellers but, interestingly, each customer cites a different reason the sandwich is special. One says that she could eat the onion marmalade with a spoon for breakfast daily. Others can’t say enough about the bacon. Tom applauds Sisha’s decision to cut the turkey thicker, thus showcasing its moistness. This is an ensemble piece, with no clear headliner. While we use ciabatta, this sandwich would work as well on country bread, too.

Balsamic Onion Marmalade

Step 1: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it slides easily across the pan.

Step 2: Add the onions, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, until the onions are soft.

Step 3: Add the sugar and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until the onions appear dry.

Step 4: Add the vinegar and reduce the heat to low. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, until the onions are soft and dry. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store the marmalade in the refrigerator. It will keep for several weeks.

Makes 2 to 3 cups


Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slide the sage leaves under the skin of the turkey breast and place the turkey on a sheet pan. Rub the skin with the butter and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast the turkey for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Baste the meat with its juices throughout. (Keep in mind that the meat will continue to cook even after it’s removed from the oven, so be careful not to cook it too long.) Allow the meat to rest before slicing, or cool completely.

Step 2: In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Don’t cook the bacon over too high heat or the fat will burn. When you’re done, save the fat you’ve rendered and store it in the freezer. The next time you’re roasting some vegetables, toss some bacon fat in with them! Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Step 3: Slice the ciabatta rolls in half. Place the turkey slices on the bottom halves and top with the marmalade.

Step 4: Place the bottom and top halves of the rolls in the 350°F oven and remove once the marmalade is heated through and the bread is toasted.

Step 5: Top the marmalade with the bacon, followed by the avocado. Evenly spread the mayonnaise on the top halves of the rolls. Close the sandwiches, cut into halves, and serve.

Reprinted with permission from ‘wichcraft by Tom Colicchio and Sisha Ortúzar (2009 Random House Canada).

Tom Colicchio Wichcraft Sandwiches