Platings: Chicken Salad Sandwich with Walnuts, Roasted Tomatoes, Pickled Red Onions and Frisée

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Main Ingredient: Poultry
Menu Part: Sandwich/Wrap
Cuisine Type: American
Serves: 4 sandwiches

Director of Food and Beverage Mike Barbera oversees the menu at ’wichcraft, a soup, salad and sandwich restaurant with 16 locations in New York City. He gives his sandwiches a fine-dining spin with farm-to-table, seasonal ingredients, housemade condiments and artisan breads. For this popular chicken salad sandwich, a whole chicken is roasted, red onions are pickled in-house, aioli is made from scratch and tomatoes are roasted—all before the chicken salad is made. But make no mistake—wichcraft is a high-volume fast-casual concept, serving about 6,000 customers a day.

Ingredients

Roasted Chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 3-lb. free-range chicken

Pickled Red Onions
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup water
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds
2 small red onions, sliced

Roasted Tomatoes
½ head garlic, divided into unpeeled cloves
8 sprigs of thyme
10 whole peeled tomatoes
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Aioli
1 large egg yolk
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. chopped garlic
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 cup canola oil
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Chicken salad
½ cup diced celery
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup pickled mustard seeds
½ cup Aoili
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 cups frisée leaves
½ tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp. red wine vinegar
½ cup Roasted Tomatoes, chopped
8 slices multigrain bread
¼ cup Pickled Red Onions 

Steps

  1. For Roasted Chicken: Salt and pepper the chicken
    inside and out. Roast on a rack at 375°F for 1 hr. 20 min.
  2. For Pickled Onions: In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, and spices; bring to a boil. Pour liquid over sliced onions and cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally. Keeps well if refrigerated for up to 2 to 3 weeks.
  4. For Roasted Tomatoes: Smash garlic cloves; combine with thyme on baking sheet. Lay tomatoes over top and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Cook tomatoes at 275°F until very tender and concentrated. Cool and chop; re-season if necessary.
  6. For Aioli: Place egg yolk, mustard, garlic, cayenne and vinegar in food processor or blender. Start the blending slowly, adding the canola oil in a thin, even stream. When half of the oil has been added, add 1 tbsp water.
  7. Slowly add remaining canola oil and blend until fully incorporated. If mixture looks a bit thick, add another 1 tsp. water.  Slowly add olive oil and blend until you have a smooth mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Use immediately or refrigerate 2 to 3 days.
  8. For Chicken Salad: Pick chicken meat from bones and dice. In large bowl, combine chicken, celery, walnuts, mustard seeds, aioli and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. In a separate bowl, toss frisée in oil and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Distribute chopped roasted tomatoes on 4 slices of bread. Top with the chicken salad, onions and frisée. Top with remaining bread slices; cut sandwiches in half and serve.