Friday, January 28, 2011

Divine Chicken Sandwiches

Ok, so really these are Chicken Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions, Garlic Paprika Aioli and Arugula... but they're amazing and that name's too long for a title, so I shortened it. I think this new one works nicely.

This meal was born out of Brad's desire for sandwiches for dinner. his typical response when I ask him what I should make is now turkey burgers. But I'm pretty sure I've showcased about 5 different turkey burgers on this blog so far, and while they are delicious, I'm trying for a little more variety in my life. So I forced him to change his answer to the dinner question and he came up with sandwiches. Fine.

Of course, I can't just make sandwiches. I need to make delicious, melt-in-your-mouth goodness if it is going to be blog-worthy. So I found an older Bon Appetit recipe for chicken sandwiches with caramelized onions and garlic aioli. How could that not be good? I made some tweaks and they were wonderful. Side note, they were even delicious as leftovers on wheat bread the next day for lunch.

Here they are in all their wonderful glory. Mmmmmmm...

From this...

To all of this...

To this amazingness

The finished product

Worth eating, I'm telling you

Chicken Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions, Garlic Paprika Aioli and Arugula

1/2 c mayo
3 T fresh squeezed lime juice
1 t paprika
1/2 t cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T olive oil
2 T vegetable oil
6 sweet onions, halved lengthwise then sliced thinly
1 t sugar
4 chicken breasts, pounded thinly
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sourdough bread, lightly toasted

1. Make the aioli by whisking together the mayo, 1 T of the lime juice, the paprika, the cayenne, and the garlic. Slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking until nicely combined and creamy. Cover and chill until time to use.
2. For caramelizing the onions, put the vegetable oil in your largest pan over medium high heat
3. Add onions and some salt and cook for 10 minutes, stirring pretty constantly until all the onions are coated and starting to soften
4. Reduce the heat to medium and for the next 45 minutes or so (yes, it takes a while) let the onions caramelize down, stirring occasionally. The trick to good, brown caramelized onions is to let them brown in the bottom of the pan a little, but not to the point of burning. Use a sturdy spatula to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan when you stir. If you need to, add the sugar to help the caramelization process along about halfway through the cooking, but if your onions are browning nicely without it, don't bother. (Side note: this will make your kitchen smell absolutely amazing)
5. Once the onions are done, remove them to a plate and cover to keep warm
6. In the same pan, heat some more olive oil over medium high heat
7. Pat your chicken breasts dry and season with salt and pepper and cover in the remaining lime juice to add some much-needed acid to this dish
8. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side (may be longer or shorter, depending on thickness)
9. Assemble the sandwiches by spreading the aioli on both sides of the toasted bread, then layering the arugula and the onions and the chicken together. You can squirt everything with a little more lime if you'd like. It can't hurt :)


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