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.
On the scene reporting from Portland, Jamaica at the Frenchman’s cove: Juici Patty with coco bread.
In Jamaica, patties are made from a sort of think filo-dough with various fillings: Chicken (spicy), beef, lobster, shrimp, vegetable or soy. They are sold from a chains of stores spread over the island, each of which are as hunger inducing as staring at cardboard. However, don’t let their boring interior put you off.
Essentially two major chains are vying for the hearts of the locals: Tastee, the original chain, and Juici Patty, the copy-chain. Having tried both, I have to join the revolution and vote for Juici Patty. Their patties are more crunchy, and with better filling. On warning though, if you click on the link, your computer will start playing some pretty awful music without warning. Such is the power of marketing and sales in Jamaica…
For the purposes of this review, I chose a chicken patty, with coco bread. I realize this is odd, taking a patty which is already baked in dough, and then wrapping it in even more bread. But, this is the way of the local, and who am I to argue with cultural traditions. The coco bread also justifies the review, since anything wrapped in bread is a sandwich in our book.
There are occasions when my enthusiasm goes a bit overboard… This is one such occasion, where dinner turned into a monster sandwich. By the way, nerd moment; the top photo reminds me of the “alien” in the movie of the same name. Anyone see the resemblance?
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).
We used the very last of our leftovers from our April wedding (where we were lucky enough to have Phil’s BBQ cater) to make this sandwich. And… It’s magnificent! I’ve been trying for weeks now to get my workplace to order Phil’s BBQ for lunch, but they’re “saving it for a special occasion.” Oh those fools, don’t they know that every time you eat at Phil’s, it’s a special occasion? OK, enough with the ranting, I never knew I would become such a fan of BBQ, but there you have it.
In this sandwich the ‘crunch’ comes from the radish and the micro-greens, and the spice from the cayenne garlic spread we get at the local farmers market. I would like nothing more than to be able to make that darn delicious garlic spread myself, but after having run the food processor for 30 minutes straight, I realized it’s impossible to get the fluffy goodness needed (as well as getting rid of the strong taste of garlic). An industrial blender or puree machine is needed to it, so; farmer’s market is our only solution.
There are some thinks that don’t translate so well across cultures. Bagels might be one of them. It was a dreary afternoon in Copenhagen, Denmark, when I walked into the Bagels Corner. A bit hungry I could not get myself to settle for a plain cream cheese bagel, so instead I opted for the luxury bagel (Choice of smoked salmon, shrimp, pesto chicken, Mexican chicken, etc). I decided on pesto chicken, and selected a whole-wheat bagel with rolled oats on top. Looked great. Then the lady asked me for what type of cream cheese I wanted. Cream cheese? Whaaaat? I decided to see where this would go, so I picked the herb-cream cheese. She added a generous layer. Then the pesto chicken (lots of it), then lettuce, cucumber, corn, and finally she asked me to pick a dressing. I selected the curry dressing. Again she added a generous layer on top, and closed up the bagel. Oh dear!
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
One of the pizzas from Wendie’s surprise birthday party, this one has some grilled chicken (with a very nice spice blend including smoked paprika), two cheeses, olives, tomatoes, green peppers and onions. The dough is a pizza dough with honey I sort-of invented (based loosely on our Lavash crackers recipe), and the tomato sauce has a wide range of spices, most noticeably a hint of fennel. We had 13 guests and I made a total of 9 pizzas and I was stunned that there were almost no leftovers. I really had expects to fill the freezer too, but at least everyone had a great time. Next time I’ll make more!
Potatoes are probably the national vegetable of Denmark. In fact, every year every Dane consumes on average 73 Kg potatoes (160 pounds). Potatoes au Gratin is one of our favorite ways of cooking potatoes, and one of the few ways that Wendie actually likes. It is of course a rather creamy affair, so we don’t do it very often. Recently we indulged ourselves, which left us with a bit of leftovers. Undaunted by the scornful look from Wendie, I went ahead and created this little beaut, a potato au gratin sandwich. What’s not to love when it comes to starch on starch?
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
The return of the 2009 Christmas ham is always joyful and filled with good memories. This time we unfroze a few slices for a sandwich, melt style (Meaning, lots of cheese on top). To meat-it-up, we also added some buffalo chicken from the local grocery store. Do you ever go through life, looking at the same thing over and over again, not really thinking about what it is, but still forming an opinion that sometimes turns into solid knowledge? This is the way I feel about Butterball buffalo chicken breast. I have seen it many times at the local grocery store, and never really given it a second glance. I knew, somehow, that this gigantic ball of chicken must be a chicken breast, after all that’s what it said on the package. Last week, I then decide to try it. As soon as I see the meat cut, I realize to my horror that obviously this is not a gigantic 10 pound chicken breast, but rather another conglomerate of pressed meats of unknown origin. I could have kicked myself, but the nice lady had sliced it already, so here it is.
Few leftovers are as versatile as chicken – the possibilities are (nearly)endless, and if the chicken is at least moderately good, with the right toppings and other accompaniments, you can have as splendid enviable meal in less than 10 minutes. After a long day at work, what’s not to love? Don’t get us wrong, this sandwich is even better if you cook a chicken just for this purpose and make the sandwich the same day, but seriously, who does that? Why a bagel you might ask? Well bagels make for pretty darn good sandwiches. That and the fact that since we buy our bagels at Costco,, we are forced to find innovative ways to use them before they develop freezer burn:-). They defrost in 30 seconds in a microwave. Cut them while still very cold (but not frozen), and proceed directly to the sandwich making. The result, like here, is a perfectly toasted bagel that is neither to hard or soft, but just perfect after toasting.
What do you do when life gives you fried chicken? Well, our answer is to make fried chicken sandwiches of course (What else would you expect from this blog). This is a great ‘leftover’ sandwich for the day after, and as you can see we added a little bit of everything (including pasta, which we can consider optional, but we had to try). If you wonder why the cheese is melting up, it’s because we toasted the bread opened, and then put the top on :-). This is also one of those sandwiches that require an extra hour on the treadmill afterwards, so proceed at your own risk.
We love grilling on the BBQ, and we love sandwiches (obviously), so this sandwich was bound to come about sooner or later. Neither of us has done a lot of grilling growing up, so we’re discovering the joy of barbecuing together. We frequently use chicken, and have learned (after a few… mishaps) to get it moist and tender. Grilling chicken usually involves a marinade or a rub, since chicken by itself can be a bit bland. This particular recipe calls for teriyaki sauce, which is great for marinades.