At the risk of becoming known as the second coming of Guy Fieri, I wanted to share my latest Crazy Day meal. This is on the heels of the fried BLT and honestly, I know I should space out these kinds of posts lest I get a bad rap for artery-clogging food, but I recently made a chicken sandwich worth sharing.
One of my friends reached out to me in a panic asking “what do you do on the nights when you have no time. I mean zero. You get back from the kids’ classes and it’s dinner time right away.”
My answer to that question, after I suggest “Progresso?” is this: a rotisserie chicken sandwich with arugula, avocado, and lime. “That’s dinner”? you say. Yes, it is, it’s hearty, satisfying, is made from real ingredients, and takes all of 5 minutes to put together. And it’s not Progresso. Or boxed mac ‘n cheese. It’s perfect on those days when you (and your kids) are crying out for fast food and you don’t want to give in.
The other great thing about this sandwich is that it satisfies my need for big flavors, but the kids like it as well. Even if they won’t eat it all together as one sandwich, deconstructed it’s really just a big slab of bread, some chunks of avocado, chicken, greens…Kind of their ideal meal.
The important thing about this recipe is that you use chicken with the skin on. Leg meat. Often the skin is pulled off and thrown to the side, which in my view is a big mistake. The skin and the leg meat are the best-tasting parts of the bird. See that missing leg on my chicken? That’s what happens when I walk through the door with a fresh rotisserie chicken – especially those from Forager’s Market in Chelsea. As Mario Batali once said, the breast meat is what you should feed to the dogs, and I kind of agree (but of course, suit your taste).
Although it’s a quick meal, this particular chicken sandwich depends on fresh ingredients. Trust me, there is a huge difference between a fresh loaf of bread, a juicy chicken, and bright green arugula (not the wilted yellow stuff that you’re waiting to salvage from the cooler—throw that stuff AWAY. NOW. It has no good use anymore, except maybe as a side dish for the breast meat you’re feeding to the dog.)
If you don’t have time for the store, I guess you could serve the whole thing on Pepperidge Farm and use sliced packaged chicken breast. But that sounds so, so sad to me, and not the point of this blog, and if you’re that kind of person, maybe we shouldn’t be friends. In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit that my husband does on occasion buy Pepperidge Farm. And that I do (shhhh) sneak it once in a while to make an old-school grilled cheese with oozy processed cheese and ketchup. And I even do that when I’m not pregnant. But we’re not doing that tonight, and let’s forget I ever mentioned it. Let’s get back to business.
Quick recap: thigh meat, skin on, check. Fresh arugula, check. Thick slices of fresh bread, check. Smear one slice with mayo, and just start layering. Season with salt & pepper, and because there’s so much richness from all of the other ingredients, add a big squeeze of lime over the whole thing. Sandwich on the top piece of bread and you can thank me later.
- 4 thick slices country white or whole grain bread
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 cup of dark white meat with skin on- from the thigh and drumsticks (or skinless breast, but trust me, it WON'T be as good!)
- 1 cup of arugula, washed and dried (I always use pre-washed if I can find it)
- 1 lime
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Spread a tablespoon of mayo on the bottom slice of each sandwich.
- Layer on your chicken, arugula, and avocado.
- Salt and pepper the whole thing liberally.
- Squeeze half a lime over each sandwich (or to your taste, but I found that on this sandwich, the more the better).