Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Thai-Style Chicken Salad Sandwiches

I will be the first to admit that chicken salad sandwiches aren't really my speed.  I mean honestly, I almost never propose making something with mayonnaise (except for devilled eggs because I have an unnatural thing for them).  I really dislike most deli "salads" (chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad) because there is way too much mayonnaise.  But I really do like to make tuna salad at home with just a touch of mayo, so I guess it's not altogether that surprising that I might like an Asian-inspired chicken salad with a little mayo...  Alex gets the credit for coming up with the majority of this recipe (although I was the one who proposed an Asian-ish chicken salad).  I was originally planning on poaching the chicken, but he wanted to marinate it in a mix of coconut milk, Thai green curry paste, ginger, lime juice, herbs and chilis.  And then he roasted it in the oven.  After he roasted the chicken, he shredded it and tossed with more herbs, shallots, scallions, lime juice, fish sauce, chilis and mayo.  He wanted to use a lot more mayo than I was comfortable with, but what else is new?  Alex likes mayo.  I do not.  I briefly considered topping the chicken salad with some fried shallots for crunch, but I didn't really want to add anymore salt.  I kind of wonder how it would have tasted if I had added a few.  I also proposed adding the romaine because I think that some salad greens in a sandwich are always welcome.  Plus, I had this whacky idea that lettuce is a traditional thing to include in a chicken salad sandwich.  I don't know for sure because I have never ordered one (or to my knowledge, eaten one), but it made sense in my head because it would keep the bread from getting soggy.  Plus a little lettuce never hurt anyone!

As far as chicken salad sandwiches go, I thought this one was pretty tasty.  The chicken salad was nice and fresh and clean.  Alex and I were both pretty happy with it (although we had to agree to disagree regarding the amount of mayo).  I know that for most people chicken salad is a totally standard thing, but for me it was a little outside of my comfort zone.  So I am pretty impressed with myself for both suggesting it and enjoying it.  Go me.  And go Alex for actually making the chicken salad (although I like to think that my original proposal and my trip to the grocery to store to pick up a baguette and mint were just as important as actually cooking).

Recipe after the jump!

Thai-Style Chicken Salad Sandwiches

2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (ours were pretty large - if you are using smaller chicken breasts, you should use 3)
2/3 cup coconut milk
1-1 1/2 tsp Thai green curry paste (depending on how much heat you want)
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin rounds
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp serrano chili, sliced
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
For chicken salad:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp Korean chili powder
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup mint, finely chopped
a pinch of sugar
1/4 cup shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup scallion, thinly sliced
1-2 tsp serrano chili, seeded and finely minced, or to taste (even if your serrano is hot, the mayo and removing the seeds will take away a lot of the heat)
3 tbsp mayonnaise, or to taste (I would have been happier with 2 tbsp, Alex wanted an entire 1/4 cup)
For sandwiches:
romaine lettuce leaves
French bread

Rinse chicken and pat dry.  Combine all ingredients except chicken.  Pour mixture over chicken in a resealable plastic bag.  Allow to marinate in fridge for at least 1 hour.  Remove chicken from the refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking.  Remove chicken from plastic bag and discard excess marinade.  Pat chicken dry.  Season with s&p.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet (or other heavy, oven-safe skillet) over medium to medium-high heat.  Add peanut oil.  Once oil is hot, place chicken in the skillet skin-side down.  Brown for 1-2 minutes.  Turn the chicken over and place skillet in oven.  Roast chicken for 30 minutes (until chicken juices run clear when you pierce the chicken with a sharp knife).  Remove from oven and set aside to cool for 15-20 minutes.  After the chicken has cooled, shred it with two forks.

Combine lime juice, fish sauce, salt, chili powder, cilantro, mint, sugar, shallot, scallion and chili in a large nonreactive mixing bowl.  Add shredded chicken and stir in the mayonnaise.  Season to taste with additional salt, mayo or lime juice.

Build sandwiches by layering lettuce on the bottom half of the bread and then topping with chicken salad.


No comments:

Post a Comment