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Club Rules

Feed a crowd with our update on the club sandwich
Club Sub Sandwich
Video: Dave Katz/Tasting Table

Need a big, honkin' sandwich for your holiday weekend cookout? Join the club.

By that we mean the club sub, TT's gargantuan take on the classic deli sandwich (see the recipe). Not only does it easily feed a crowd, but a couple of special touches take the traditional combination of poultry, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo (and, of course, that signature middle slice of bread) to a whole new level.

Since every club has its own set of rules, here are the tenets for making our perfect picnic sandwich.

Rule 1: Do not talk about club sub.

Rule 2: Ignore the bad joke and start with the mayo. Get yourself a high-quality mayonnaise, spike it with chives and lemon zest, and season it well with salt and pepper for maximum flavor.

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Rule 3: Embrace iceberg lettuce. It's super crisp, which means it won't wilt if you take the sandwich to the park or beach. Shred it—you don't want any big pieces to slide out while you eat.

Rule 4: Ditch the extra bread. You won't miss it—and it would make slicing an absolute mess. A 12-inch Italian loaf will do the job just fine on its own.

Rule 5: Keep your turkey company. Everything tastes better with ham, so let your turkey make a new friend. Both meats should be sliced paper-thin to ensure easy chewing and soft layers, because you're going to pile 'em high.

Rule 6: Take time with the tomatoes. After you slice them, let them drain awhile, so they don't make the rest of the sandwich a soggy mess. And do not—we repeat—do not forget to salt them. It makes a world of difference.

Rule 7: Preheat the oven. You're going to bake your bacon. It's the easiest way to prep a big batch. Cook it in a single layer in a 350-degree oven for 14 to 16 minutes until it's golden and crisp.

Rule 8: Frilly toothpicks are nonnegotiable. No, really. Not only do they look festive, but they help to hold the sub together when you slice it into individual sandwiches.

Now go and have a sub-perb summer weekend.

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