Ode to the Sandwich
February 4, 2008
Sandwiches are my idea of the perfect meal. I think many consider them a strictly lunch thing, but I would happily eat them for breakfast (like a bagel slathered with cream cheese and scattered with onions and capers, or an egg white omelet stuffed between two slices of multigrain) and dinner (thinly sliced flank steak or roasted vegetables or, oooh-I-know, both). Every day. One of my favorite parts of my neighborhood (other than the market I mentioned yesterday) is that it’s home to many, many, many quality sandwich purveyors. And I’ve been known to spend entire vacations seeking out a city’s or region’s best sandwich (a road trip up the West Coast provided particularly fertile terrain for such an endeavor).
And, chances are, on a Saturday around noon, you can find me whipping up a homemade sandwich. And, while I admit that I’m a turkey sandwich kind of girl, I occasionally diverge. Good thing, too, because a turkey sandwich—even one as completely out-of-this-world as mine (right, Kev?)—never seems to merit a blog post. By contrast, the homemade sandwich that grazed our lunch plates this Saturday was decidedly worth a blog post.
(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)
If I do diverge from turkey, I’ll concede that there’s usually a good reason for it. And this sandwich was no exception. I was planning to mark Kevin’s return home from a business trip last Thursday with a dinner I know he loves: Zuni Cafe Roasted Chicken. When his flight got canceled, there was no reason to roast “the bird” (as Kevin loves to call it). But I certainly wasn’t going to let “the bird” go to waste. So, Saturday morning, I threw it in a stock pot with some veggies, herbs and water. Which left us with a few quarts of chicken stock and a whole poached chicken.
After packaging up the freezer-bound stock and shredding up the meat from “the bird,” I used the chicken to make a chicken salad I love. I love it because it’s about the chicken, not the mayo (in fact, there’s no mayo at all!). And it’s crunchy (celery and chopped almonds) and interesting (notes of cumin and smoked paprika) too. A suitable turkey replacement I’d say.
Crunchy Chicken Salad
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon Dijon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups shredded chicken
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup scallions, minced
1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped
In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk the yogurt, mustard, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, cayenne and salt and pepper. Add the chicken, celery, scallions and almonds; toss to thoroughly coat the chicken mixture with the yogurt dressing.