These sandwiches fall somewhere between a chicken mayo sandwich and a true club. We've brined the chicken before roasting it to keep the meat juicy and to add flavour. Start this recipe a day ahead if you want to do likewise. Makes 16.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 280 gm mayonnaise
- 2 golden shallots, finely diced
- 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp finely chopped tarragon
- 8 smoked bacon rashers, rinds removed
- 24 thin slices rye bread, toasted
- 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, thinly sliced
- To serve: mustard cress
- 300 gm salt
- 4 each cloves and peppercorns
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 chicken (about 1.4kg), rinsed
- 1For brined chicken, bring salt, spices and 5 litres water to the boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve salt. Transfer to a container large enough to fit chicken, cool, then refrigerate until chilled (4 hours). Add chicken to brine, weight with a plate to submerge, then refrigerate overnight. Drain chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
- 2Preheat oven to 150C. Brush chicken with oil and season to taste. Scatter onion in a roasting pan, place chicken on top and roast, basting occasionally, until chicken is golden and juices
run clear (1½-2 hours). Set aside to rest and cool (1 hour), then remove meat (discard bones and onion, and skin if you like), finely chop and combine in a bowl with mayonnaise, shallot and herbs. Season to taste.
- 3Preheat grill to high. Place bacon on a non-stick oven tray and grill, turning once, until crisp (4-5 minutes). Coarsely chop.
- 4To assemble, top 8 toast slices with bacon, tomato and another slice of toast. Top with chicken and mustard cress, then sandwich with remaining toast, secure with toothpicks, cut in half and serve.
Drink Suggestion: Pungent Marlborough sauvignon blanc. Drink suggestion by Max Allen
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