Cold Chicken Sandwiches That Are Anything But Boring!
Cold sandwiches, especially, cold chicken sandwiches are a lunchbox staple, perfect for a quick snack at home and quick to put together for picnics and afternoon teatime. Often, though, we forget to be creative and stick to a preformed idea of chicken spread. We keep repeating it till it becomes boring and lackluster. I love a good moist and flavorful cold chicken sandwich anytime of the day with a cup of tea or coffee. But, believe me there is nothing more uninspiring than a dry and bland sandwich. According to my simple formula if you need a beverage on the side simply to swallow down your sandwich than something is missing for sure!
Do You Know The Story Of Sandwich?
Yes, this simple but extremely popular food has an interesting story behind it. The sandwich as we know it today popularized in England only as recently the 18th century. While in the Mediterranean, particularly, in the Turkish and Greek cuisines, the idea existed long before that. In mezze platters, they sandwiched all sorts of dips, cheeses and meats between layers of bread or topped them over the breads. Most probably that’s where John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, got the inspiration for sandwich in 1760s – hence, the name. The Earl had a serious gambling problem and spent hours at the card table. For that he needed something that he could eat without getting up from the table and which tasted equally good served cold, and thus the sandwich was born.
How To Keep Your Cold Sandwiches Moist and Fun:
So once we have established that we are never going to serve bland and boring sandwiches again, there are only a few tricks we need to remember.
- Keep your sandwiches moist without letting the bread go soggy. In fact, a soggy sandwich is not even a problem for many people, a dry sandwich is the worst sandwich. If a sandwich can avoid being dry, that’s step one to success.
- Choosing good quality soft bread wins half the game really! Spreading egg salad or chicken salad kind of spreads on super-crusty, chewy, dense bread can be a recipe for disaster. The bread should be soft enough to not push out the spread when you take a bite.
- For cold spread sandwiches, I always add heavy cream or Greek yogurt with mayonnaise to make it more voluptuous and spreadable. Not only that binds the ingredients better together but makes each bite creamier. Fatty ingredients that do double duty of adding moisture in the right places and preventing sogginess in the wrong places.
- One more thing that boosts flavor magically is the juice from pickles. Just add a couple of tablespoons from your favorite pickle jar for a mysterious depth that no one can put their finger on.
- Mustard and black pepper go beautifully with this preparation. But I add very finely chopped/minced pickled or fresh chili peppers too. I keep the salt and spiciness percentage on slightly higher side in the ready spread because after being sandwiched between two slices the already mild flavors go really bland.
- Generosity is not only a virtue in your day to day life but something you must embrace in the kitchen. Nothing ruins a sandwich more than not putting enough spread between the bread layers. Sandwiches with scanty spread go dry very quickly and taste like cardboard. So, sandwich makers, please let there be a plentiful layer of spread between the two layers bread.
- Always put your spread on both slices of bread, rather than heap one slice with it. That way both slices will share the weight of the wet spread and both slices will stay moist.
- Dampen a paper towel or cheesecloth, wring out any excess water and wrap the sandwiches in it before you store them in an airtight container or refrigerate them. Keep them wrapped till you serve, the damp cover will keep the bread moist and your cold chicken sandwiches super fresh.
Some More Fun Tweaks With The Same Spread:
If you want to make a meatless or vegetarian version, here are a few more yummy idea –
- Add hard boiled eggs instead of boiled shredded chicken
- Add shredded cabbage or cucumber slices to the spread. Just make sure to remove any extra liquid from the vegetables.
- Add chopped olives or pickled vegetables.
- If you don’t like mustard, you can add any hot sauce of your choice – peri peri and sriracha taste amazing. Or simply add tomato ketchup if making for young kids.
If You Liked This Recipe Also Check:
Ingredients For Cold Chicken Sandwiches:
- 1 large soft white bread (16 slices)
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 cup cream or Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard OR hot sauce OR ketchup
- 2 tablespoons pickle juice or white vinegar mixed with 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
- 4-6 pickled red chili peppers, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- salt to taste if needed at all because all the sauces and pickles have salt too.
This Is What You Do:
- Start by boiling chicken. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon white vinegar to the boiling chicken to falvor it better.
- When the chicken is done, cool it at room temperature. Shred it finely with hands or using a knife and fork.
- In a large bowl add mayonnaise, cream/Greek yogurt, condiment of your choice (mustard, hot sauce, ketchup), pickle juice or remaining one tablespoon of vinegar.
- Add chopped peppers and black peppers. Add boiled shredded chicken. Mix well. Check for seasoning. If needed add salt to taste.
- Cut off the crumb from bread. Spread out the slices in a large tray for convenience or clean the work top.
- Spread a generous amount of cold chicken spread over all the slices, almost 1 heaped tablespoon per slice or more depending on the size of slices.
- Close the sandwiches with spread sides coming together. Cut them into triangle or smaller rectangles.
- If you are serving them as starter, cut them into even smaller squares (like for squares per sandwich). Insert an pickled olive and parsley leaf into a toothpick and put one in each sandwich.
- Or you can serve them over a platter of iceberg leaves or any of your favorite greens.
- Keep them wrapped in a moist paper towel or cheesecloth to preserve their moisture and freshness.
- If there is any leftover spread, save it in a clean airtight jar. Stays good for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Makes 16 Sandwiches