Last week I served this tasty pulled chicken sandwich along side my bowl of butternut squash soup . With the weather getting cooler and cooler these days, hot soup and warm sandwiches are ideal for weeknight meals and leftovers to take for lunch. So what makes this sandwich or any sandwich for that matter tasty and more than just the standard luncheon meat on bagged sliced bread like the kind I grew up on (think bologna or ham and cheese)? The answer’s very simple … the bread and the extras.
I’ve found that simply making your sandwich with fresh baked bread from a bakery can add a new dimension of flavor to your sandwiches if you’re used to making sandwiches at home with your regular packaged bread. My favorite bakery breads to use for sandwiches include wheatberry, rosemary Italian or foccaccia, sunflower or multi-seed boule (like the one I used for the photos here), or ciabatta. Also, I like to buy the bread whole rather than have it sliced at the bakery. I read the tip somewhere that slicing the bread as you need it allows it to keep longer than if you have it pre-sliced, and I’ve discovered that to be true.
The extras that I speak of, another key to good homemade sandwiches include breaking out of the jar of your simple mayo spread. Instead, add a little extra flavor by using pesto or avocado as a spread on your sandwiches or mixing in seasonings to your mayo. For this pulled chicken sandwich, I added one minced clove of garlic with fresh ground black pepper to my mayonnaise and those additions alone elevated the “deliciousness” of my sandwich. You can also try dried herbs, a splash of lemon juice, or a diced sun-dried tomato. Be creative, and enjoy!
Pulled-Chicken Sandwich with Garlic Mayo
1 loaf fresh baked bread of your choice
2 – 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pulled chicken from one roasted or rotisserie chicken
Green leaf lettuce
Vine-ripened tomato, sliced
Thin-sliced red onions (optional)
Garlic mayo (see recipe below)
Drizzle olive oil over one side of two slices of the fresh bread and lightly toast in the oven under the broiler, remove from oven and set aside. On the untoasted sides of the bread, spread a thin layer of garlic mayonnaise and top one slice with pulled chicken. Then sprinkle chicken with a little pepper. Add lettuce and a few tomato and red onion slices. Top with the other slice of toasted bread and cut sandwich on a diagonal. Serve with hot soup.
1/4 cup quality mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, finely minced (almost to a paste)
2 dashes of fresh ground black pepper
Mix the finely minced garlic and pepper well into the mayo and use on bread for sandwiches or as a dip for fresh vegetables or (eek!) … fries.