Barefoot Contessa Recipe 50

This recipe can be found in At Home, page 37

Well I finally made one — a sandwich!

I had been anxiously waiting to start the sandwich category for a little while, but it just never came to be. Until this past weekend. It had been a while since I made my last BC recipe — especially a savory one. But this weekend was a little busy for me and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time standing over the stove, in line at the grocery store, or baking something in the oven.

The solution? A sandwich. After glancing through the list of 28 sandwiches, a few jumped out at me. Such as the Croque Monsieur, Lobster BLTs, and Soft-Shell Crab Sandwiches. While these all sounded very tasty, and my mouth did start to water when reading about them in the cookbooks, I quickly realized that all these choices would involve at least one of the things I didn’t want to be doing that day.

So, I skipped them and settled on something that seemed easy enough. And I had just about everything on hand already. It was a win-win!

This chicken salad was pretty easy. But, I did make some modifications to it. First, I didn’t roast the chicken in the oven. I cooked the two breasts on the stove (I didn’t want to turn my oven on that day…too warm!). I also only made enough for two sandwiches, not the four that the recipe yields, so I made the adjustments to ingredients accordingly.

It doesn’t look like a lot of chicken, and to be honest, it wasn’t. But, it was the perfect amount to make my two sandwiches.

I added the tarragon, salt, pepper, celery, and mayonnaise just like Ina said. I also decided to include some red grapes that we had left in the fridge. There was only a large handful left and only a few that were still “edible.” So, I just used them up.

However, after combining everything, things looked a little loose. So, I popped it in the fridge for about a half hour before making the sandwich, just to firm things up and allow the flavors to marry. When I was ready to make the sandwich, I toasted some bread, slathered a thin layer of mayo on one slice, and piled about half of the chicken salad on top.

When I bit into it, I was pleasantly surprised. The addition of tarragon adds a hint of licorice-like flavor that I wasn’t really expecting. But, I did like it. Tarragon and poultry go well together, it seems. Many chefs (including Ina) use it when making roast chickens or turkeys. It’s definitely an herb I’ll have to keep in mind.

This chicken salad is a great quick meal that can be made in no time any night of the week. It also seems like it can be scaled up easily to serve a large group of people. While it didn’t blow me away, it did hit the spot, and it taught me to add tarragon to my chicken salad to liven things up a bit!


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