Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Chicken salad on croissant by Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
Sandwiches get us through the day – from the ubiquitous fast food offering of a breakfast sandwich, to ham and cheese at lunch and meatball subs for supper, whatever meal you’re preparing, there’s a sandwich for it.

Susan Russo, author of the new "Encyclopedia of Sandwiches: Recipes, History and Trivia for Everything Between Sliced Bread" (Quirk, 2011) and blogger at Food Blogga knows this well. “The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches is a belly-filling book of over 100 of the world's most beloved sandwiches," she said recently. "It's got all sorts of tasty sandwich trivia, history and recipes.”

Food photographer and blogger Matt Armandariz (Matt Bites) photographed every sandwich for the book, artfully and attractively. Perhaps the handiest feature of the book is the alphabetic listing with colored index tabs along the page edge – looking for a Fluffernutter? – flip to “F.” Have a hankering for a Hamburger and its 8 variations, including vegetarian? Just skim to “H.”

Along the way, readers can pick up some helpful history, such as the origin of the Fluffernutter: “In 1913 brother and sister Armory and Emma Curtis opened the Curtis Marshmallow Factory, and their most popular product was Snowflake Marshmallow Creme, a spreadable marshmallow confection which Emma suggested would be delicious paired with peanut and sandwiched between two slices of white bread. They tried it. People loved it. And eventually it became known as the Fluffernutter, a trademark of Durkee-Mower Inc., the maker of Marshmallow Fluff.”

Narrowing the field of recipes to try, I lighted on chicken salad, the Southern standard, and served it to my writer friends for our ladies' lunch. Russo’s recipe delivers a delicious chicken salad filled with cranberries and pecans, and she assures me that it’s from the Loveless Café, in Nashville, Tennessee,  one of my all-time favorite restaurants (don't even get me started on Loveless biscuits, dripping with homemade blackberry preserves).

Chicken Salad
from "The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches" by Susan Russo

4 cups (2 ½ pounds) diced cooked chicken

1 cup finely diced celery

½ cup sweet pickle relish

1 cup mayonnaise

¾ cup dried cranberries, such as Craisins

½ Vidalia onion, finely diced (about ½ cup)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup pecan pieces, optional

8 slices white or whole grain bread, or 4 croissants

1. Combine chicken salad ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill at least hours to let flavors meld.

2. To make each sandwich, scoop about ¾ to 1 cup chicken salad onto a slice of toasted to untoasted bread and top with a second slice of bread. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Be sure to check out these upcoming sandwich stories, also from "The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches."

  • Pound Cake Sandwiches stuffed with strawberries
  • The Jucy Lucy cheeseburger (that's right, Jucy)


Bellwether Vance said...

I keep thinking I don't miss chicken, but I DO! I DO! Chicken salad was one of my favorite sandwich fillings (and overall, sandwiches are my favorite category of food -- hands down -- I could eat one breakfast, lunch and dinner), and with pecans and dried cranberries? Oh my.

Nancy Baggett said...

I should have eaten lunch before I came to this post. Oh, does it make me hungry--must go make chicken salad NOW!

The Teacher Cooks said...

I really need to buy Susan's book, but right now I need this salad!

The Teacher Cooks said...

I really need to buy Susan's book, but in the meantime your salad look terrific. I must make this!

Lucy@acookandherbooks said...

Thanks, everyone, for reading! Check back for more recipes from Susan's book - it was difficult to choose from so many good recipes!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Thank you for this glowing review, Lucy! The Loveless Cafe's biscuits are heaven-sent, indeed. I'm so happy you chose to post the chix salad, I love that tangy Southern flavor too!