Thursday, 27 August 2015

Mega Chicken Salad Sandwich with Homemade Marble Rye, Aioli, Pickled Cucumbers, Schmaltz and Gribenes

Obviously you can buy rye bread, aioli, pickles and even a ready-cooked chicken from a store and make a decent enough sandwich.  But there's a reason this sandwich is mega and it's not just about the size (though it is... generous).  Making your own fillings makes this sandwich a blockbuster. And I don't know about you, but I can't buy a chicken salad sandwich complete with blockbuster essentials like schmaltz and gribenes for love nor money where I live.  So if I want a megastar sandwich, I have to make it myself.

NOTE: Chicken grease = schmaltz.  Golden, crispy, crunchy roasted chicken skin = gribenes. (for the uninitiated)

Mega Chicken Salad Sandwich with Homemade Marble Rye, Aioli, Pickled Cucumbers, Schmaltz and Gribenes

slightly adapted from here
Makes 2 sandwiches

For the Sandwiches:
4 slices of marble rye
2 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
Sea salt flakes
2 spring onions, finely sliced
A squeeze of lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

For the Aioli:
2 egg yolks
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
125ml grape seed oil
Sea salt flakes

For the Marble Rye:
Recipe here (or use a good bakery rye)

For the Pickled Cucumbers:
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
100ml water
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced into very thin strips using a vegetable peeler or mandolin

For the Schmaltz and Gribenes:
Skin from the chicken thighs (above)
Sea salt flakes

Make the Aioli:
Put all the ingredients into a blender (or use a stick blender) and blitz until you have silky, smooth, galicky mayonnaise. If it's a little thick, add a little water to thin it. Check seasoning. Set aside.

Cook the Chicken:
Pull the skin off the thighs and set it aside to make the schmaltz and gribenes (below). Put the skinless thighs into a saucepan, cover with water, add a generous sprinkling of salt and bring to a simmer, but do not boil. Keep on a gentle simmer for 40 minutes, until the chicken to cooked. Drain and set aside to cool.

Once cool, discard the bones and shred the meat. Add the spring onion, lemon juice, parsley and enough aioli to lightly coat the chicken. Season to taste. Set aside.

Make the Pickled Cucumbers:
Mix all the pickle ingredients and set aside to marinate.

Make the Schmaltz and Gribenes:
Preheat your oven to 180C.

Cut the chicken skin (that you pulled from the thighs earlier) into 2cm pieces with a pair of scissors. Lay them on a baking paper lined baking tray, sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven for about 20 -25 minutes, until golden and crisp. Take the tray out of the oven, remove the crispy skin (gribenes) to a plate and pour the grease (schmaltz) into a small bowl.  Set aside.

Make the Sandwiches:
Spread the schmaltz evenly on all four slices of the bread and lightly grill (broil).  Lay 2 slices of the bread on a board. Spoon the chicken mixture evenly on them.  Top with drained pickled cucumbers, and gribenes. Place the remaining slices of bread on top and serve warm... with napkins.


  1. OH. MY. GOD! Now, that's a crazy sandwich. I've never seen a sandwich like that. And the mix of ingredients is so interesting!!

  2. I needed those definitions. Definitely uninitiated. That looks seriously NYC style EPIC.