The Absolute Best Chicken Sandwich Ever

June 19, 2012 3:00 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Fried Chicken
Sure, you can use leftover fried chicken in this kitchen sinker if you want to. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

This chicken sandwich is a healthier, homemade approximation of the sublime one I had for lunch with my family at Diner in South Williamsburg. Theirs uses decadently greasy fried chicken instead of the healthier rotisserie chicken we'll be using. I could write a love letter about that restaurant, and intend to at some point, but for now, we'll just have to be content with this recipe for the absolute best chicken sandwich in the world ever. It's super easy, cheap, and you'll be making it again and again.

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Every sandwich begins the same way:

1. Choose your bread.

The sandwich that inspired this recipe comes served on homemade focaccia, and that's exactly what I recommend for this recipe. Unfortunately, homemade focaccia can prove quite difficult, so just pop on over to Trader Joe's for their Tomato and Olive Focaccia Bread, or use your local supermarket's version, and keep it warm in your oven's lowest setting.

Barring that, a good rye bread would also work wonderfully with this recipe.

2. Getting to know Rotisserie Chicken.

Store-bought rotisserie chicken is a lifesaver. While it's no substitute for an herb roasted chicken, in recipes like sandwiches and chicken salads, it saves you a ton of time and gives you all the bones you need to make a perfect homemade stock. Plus, it's really cheap for reasons I don't understand.

Grab one of these, shred it with your hands, and taste. It's probably under-flavored all around. Squeeze some lemon, sprinkle some salt, crack some black pepper. That should help bring it back to life. Pop it in the oven to warm along with the focaccia.

If you want to be bad, you can also use cold versions of last night's bucket of KFC. It'd taste delicious, but come on. At least try to be healthy with your lunch!

3. Choose a pate

Now we're getting fancy. Supermarkets nationwide are starting to carry these, and any kind will do just find. We recommend the more savory ones with duck and mushroom in them, and advise you to steer clear of ones with fish in them.

4. Choose your greens.

There's really not much of a choice here. The bitterness of arugula works perfectly. Use arugula.

If you're not an arugula fan, some spinach or lettuce will also work. But, come on.

5. Choose a jam.

Or don't, if you don't like sweetness in your sandwich. But I think a light sweetness, especially a fruity one, helps round things out in a big way here. I go with a strawberry jam-- any brand but Smuckers. It works well with the chicken, the arugula, and the pate.

6. Assemble.

Ah, the fun part. Take the foccacia bread out of the oven. Slice it. Spread the pate over it. Top with some arugula. Add a copious helping of the chicken. Slice another piece of focaccia. Spread the jam on it. Top your sandwich with it.

Taste, shiver, and enjoy!


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