I love a really good chicken salad sandwich. But to me this is just a simple chicken salad on white bread with a little mayo and if I’m feeling really special, some iceberg lettuce.
This is another no-recipe recipe.
Poach chicken breasts. I do this in just water because then I can give the poaching liquid to the dog. But, if you want, you can add bay leaves or garlic cloves, and even peppercorns to the water. Poach low and slow just make sure the chicken is covered by at least an inch of water. Not sure how long, but until it falls apart when you pick it up with a fork – this also makes sure the interior is not still pink.
Remove chicken from water and let cool to room temperature. (Give a dog chicken water and he will love you, pretty much, forever).
Shred or chop chicken to whatever size you prefer. I am a medium dice/shred person.
Now here is where things get subjective. Things needed: Duke’s mayonnaise, celery, shallots, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
Here is where I get a little
weird exacting. I like, for two good sized chicken breasts (and, no, I don’t weigh them but I should), 3 celery stalks including the leaves. The thing is – you must peel the celery. This is just not optional. Get out that serrated vegetable peeler and go to town. It gets rid of those pesky strings that no one ever wants to eat. Then split the ribs into three pieces lengthwise and the mince well. I did say exacting, right?
Now for the shallots – two medium or one large, minced. I get my shallots at Bailey’s Farmers’ Market – they sell them by weight, unlike the grocery store that sells them by some little bag. At Bailey’s, I also get to pick the ones I want – yes, this is the way to do things.
Once all the chopping is done, mix celery and shallots into chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Add Duke’s mayonnaise to taste – remember, as my mom always said, you can always more, but you can’t take it away. Taste as you go and season with more salt and pepper if necessary. Add lemon juice if you would like. Yes you do want to do that.
For the sandwich you need really fresh soft white bread*. Spread one side with more Duke’s and pile on the chicken salad. Then add the super crunchy iceberg lettuce that you cored, washed and have chilling in the fridge. Another option – toast the white bread first. Yes, do.
This, I know, is simple food, but sometimes that is what is best and even more often, that is just what you need.
Now you could do this with a rotisserie chicken, not that I ever have, but I guess in a pinch it would do. If you are really jonesing for some chicken salad. Who am I to judge?
* or Italian bread or a good whole wheat.