The Chef: Caroline Glover
Her Restaurant: Annette in Aurora, Colo.
What She’s Known For: Bringing years of experience on the farm to ingredient-focused cooking. Rustic dishes executed with a light touch.
A CHICKEN SALAD must never be gloppy—this is the first of chef
’s stipulations. It should always taste of just-roasted chicken and never be slippery (go easy on the mayo) or cloying (no grapes). And there should be some kick. If served on a sandwich, the bread should have bite and hold the salad, not succumb to it. Beyond a crisp lettuce leaf, nothing else is required.
Ms. Glover came by these principles during college in Fort Worth, Texas, while working at a grocery store. There she ate a game-changing version, minimal and perfect. “Before that, I never liked chicken-salad sandwiches,” she said. “But this had meat picked off the bone and apricots and some mustard. It was lighter and brighter and definitely not your lunch-line chicken sandwich.” She ate one every day.
When she opened
her restaurant outside
Ms. Glover came up with a homage. The recipe—her third Slow Food Fast contribution—contains tender chicken mixed with tart minced apricots, a dash of mustard powder, Dijon mustard and mayo. Minced cilantro and lightly pickled shallots provide texture as well as kick. Ciabatta has the right chew. Butter lettuce adds a fresh note. Sliced tomato is optional and only worth it in peak season.
The simple recipe took about 50 tries to get exactly right. Now it commands the same devotion Ms. Glover once felt for the original sandwich. “When it shows up on the menu,” she said, “people line up.”
TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes SERVES: 4
½ shallot, minced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 (2-pound) rotisserie chicken
¾ cup mayonnaise or
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
⅓ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup minced dried apricots
1 tablespoon dried English mustard powder
4 ciabatta rolls
1 yellow tomato, sliced and salted (optional)
8 butter lettuce leaves
1. In a small bowl, toss shallots with a pinch of salt and cover with vinegar. Set aside until shallots lightly pickle, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, tear chicken from bones and into bite-size pieces. Transfer meat to a medium bowl and fold in ½ cup mayonnaise, mustard, cilantro, apricots and mustard powder. Strain shallots and discard vinegar. Add shallots to chicken salad, toss to combine and season with salt.
3. Halve ciabattas lengthwise and toast in broiler or toaster until golden brown.
4. Spread remaining mayonnaise over cut sides of bread. Spread chicken salad over bread’s bottom half, top with tomato, if using, and lettuce. Place top half of bread on sandwich, press lightly and halve sandwiches to serve.
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