One sandwich I have never gotten around to liking is the chicken salad sandwich. Perhaps it’s because I was introduced to it at a deli counter. The mayonnaise was so plentiful that I could hardly taste the chicken. Since then I’ve stayed away from all chicken salads, and supermarket deli counter foods for that matter. Still searching for a quick meal last night I decided to attempt to make my own and thereby kill two birds with a single chicken breast: rescue the chicken salad from mayonnaise hell and make a week night meal in time for Anders and I to enjoy a date night (go see the movie Unstoppable). Both were handily accomplished.
Since this was my first attempt at chicken salad, I used a recipe from Food Network as my guide. But I changed it up tremendously to make it nearly unrecognizable. The chicken was grilled instead of poached; celery was replaced by fennel (celery is one of the few vegetables that I just don’t like); the herbs were doubled (many recipes are just too timid with the use of herbs); and some of the mayonnaise was replaced by sour cream (my attempt at a healthier and more tangy salad).
As our kitchen renovation draws nearer to its conclusion, and after having lived for weeks now with a dusty house, no kitchen, a fridge in the garage, and the top of our washing machine as our kitchen counter, we remember this sandwich from our ‘old kitchen’ days. This is made from a great chicken Wendie made which we turned into ‘chicken salad #2‘ and added to a fresh slice of roasted garlic bread with capers and Parmesan on top. We also torched the Parmesan a little to give it a golden look, and to achieve the oddly comforting feeling of warmth near the top of the sandwich. Saturday we are getting married, so the frequency of posts have significantly eased of as our backyard weddings draws nearer. We will post lots of sandwiches after the wedding 🙂
When you make chicken, a great idea for all the little leftovers that can be picked from the bones is to make a chicken salad. Unlike what you find in a grocery store, chicken salad should not be a vast ocean of mayonnaise with small islands of chicken. The mayonnaise and mustard is there to add taste, but mostly to hold it all together.
Chicken Salad Recipe #2
- 5 oz chicken meat in small pieces
- 2 tbs mayonnaise
- 1 tsp mustard
- 2 tbs peperiono seeds
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp curry
- 1 tbs + 1 tsp shredded Parmesan
- 1 tsp capers
- 2 tsp kalonjo seeds (name?)
Make sure the pieces of chicken are fairly small, and then mix all ingredients but the capers together. At the end add the capers and carefully mix a little more.
See a sample sandwich here: Chicken Salad Sandwich With Capers and Parmesan
Leftover chicken is fantastic. Carefully pick all the little pieces of meat off, and make yourself a nice chicken salad. It’s very easy and simple, and we quite frankly look forward to the day after the roast as much as the roast itself. We have fallen in love with pepitas seeds (aka pumpkin seeds): These seeds are fantastic on sandwiches, as they provide some ‘crunch’ and taste great on top. We find them to be very under-utilized and the next experiment will be to try them on pizzas. We already know they work wonders on Lavash crackers. Posting this recipe makes us long to have a kitchen again, as currently everything we have is torn out and dumped. Over the next four weeks, we hope our fantastic contractor will be done building it back up, with lovely Calacutta marble counter tops and custom cabinets. Ahhh dreams…
Beets are, at least here in SoCal (Southern California) a much ignored root. I’ve heard countless locals sneer at the very mention of it, claiming it taste like soil, and wondering what in the world such a thing could be good for. Well, dear neighbors, here is a sandwich that the beet is perfect for. Make your own chicken salad, and cut a slice of pickled beet root on top, and it’s just fantastic. It add lots of color to an otherwise drab sandwich. By the way, we highly recommend not buying the pre-made cardboard chicken salads in the grocery store, when it’s so easy and cheap to make. It also tastes a lot better by the way. Interestingly, I have no recollection of my mother ever making any such thing, and the first time I even remember having a ‘chicken salad’ is buying one in a grocery store after moving to a dorm in college. I wonder what my mom did with all those chicken leftovers, come to think of it?
Chicken Salad Recipe
- 4 roasted garlic
- 3 tbs Mayo
- 1 tsp fennel seeds (anis)
- 1/4 grated onion
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 grated garlic
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Tarragon Mustard
- 5 oz chicken pieces (picked from roasted chicken)
Mash the roasted garlic to a pulp with a fork, then mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Rejoyce, you are done!
Continue reading Chicken Salad