I didn’t want to make anything hot (since it’s a million degrees outside), and I didn’t want to have to spend the evening washing dishes (‘cause that’s boring). Usually when I feel this way, it means Sandwich Night!
I drew inspiration from The Pioneer Woman with this meal. She made something similar using bowtie pasta (we know how I feel about bowties) and some similar ingredients. I didn’t have everything she had on hand, so I improvised! According to my Dad, that’s the best kind of cooking and he’s right. It’s way more fun than following a recipe.
I gathered everything that looked like it would taste good together. Leftover chicken from Taco Tuesday night, toasted walnuts from our dinner party on Thursday, my spices, leftover red onion…you get the idea.
The shredded chicken from Taco Tuesday night was simple. A bunch of random chicken parts (eww, I meant a couple of chicken breasts and some thighs) that I threw into the crockpot with enough beef stock and water to cover the meat (beef stock? I know, it’s all I had, and does it really matter?), threw in some sprigs of rosemary and thyme, a little s&p and a couple of cloves of whole garlic. Set it on low for several hours and came home to some yummy smelling chicken!
With the bones, spices and juices leftover I decided to make a simple chicken stock. I dumped it all into a pot and let it simmer for several hours. Just skim the fat every so often and voila! you have some homemade chicken stock. If you have carrots or onions, pretty much anything else, throw it in. The more flavor the better!
I shredded what I needed for the tacos and put the rest in the fridge. Well, today was the day it would be called up to the plate again (literally). I cut what I had left over into small pieces and set that aside.
On to the onion. I had a huge red onion I’ve been using all week for different recipes, and since I didn’t want to be overloaded with onion, I took off about a quarter and chopped it up.
Next, the walnuts. I toasted up some walnuts the other night when I made a spinach salad. You don’t have to if you don’t want. To toast them I put them in a dry pan over medium/high heat for about 5 minutes. Easy breezy. Chop them into whatever size you feel is appropriate for chicken salad. Like my salsa, I like to see what’s going on, not a gloopy mess.
Next, the raisins. Mine looked kind of dry so I thought I’d plump them up a little. I soaked them in hot chicken stock for about 10 minutes. Why not, right? In all fairness, they don’t look transformed that much, but in my mind they weren’t so dry.
Measure out your mayo.
If you’re feeling like you want some heat, throw in some crushed red pepper flakes!
And of course, the curry powder.
Throw in some salt and cracked black pepper, mix it together and you’ve got yourself a happy little sandwich.
Makes 4 sandwiches
8 slices of bread, I used some brioche I had in the freezer
1 large chicken breast & 2 chicken thighs, cooked and cubed into small pieces
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp curry powder
Spinach or lettuce
If you don’t have a toaster (like me), get your broiler going. Gather all of your ingredients and get yourself set up. Having everything set out before you start will make is easier for you, trust me.
If you’re going to get a little crazy like me, heat up some chicken stock (or broth) in the microwave and let your raisins take a soak. If you’re not a little crazy, don’t.
If you’re using the broiler, pop those slices of bread in, but keep an eye on them. Nothing worse than scraping burnt toast. If your a toaster using human, you know what to do.
Dice your chicken and drop it into a large bowl. On to the red onion. Dice it then drop it in. Add your mayo, your walnuts (toasted or otherwise), raisins and seasonings. If you want some heat but not too much, go easy on the crushed red pepper flakes. We like spicy food so I knew the 1/2 teaspoon would be fine. Mix it up, give it a taste. We don’t like too much mayo, you may. Adjust to your heart’s desire.
Time to assemble! The hubs likes spinach, I prefer lettuce. I piled his high with spinach, mine with romaine. Slice it on the diagonal (‘cause it’s prettier that way), and you’re all set!