WINNIPEG, MB - What makes a great club sandwich? I’m a huge fan of sandwiches, but the answer to that question has always eluded me. Could it be the bread? Maybe! Could it be the bacon? Possibly! Could it be the salad? Perhaps!
Well, I finally came up with a plan. I would create a chicken club sandwich like no other – none in my lifetime that is. Many ideas passed through my mind, and many questions. Should it be sweet? Should there be a kick to it? White bread or brown? What salad should we use? Regular bacon or thick bacon? Oh, the problems this had opened up.
But then, one day when chatting with Liberty of Bee Maid Honey it all seemed to come together. I would create a sweet, savoury chicken club sandwich. Honey comes in liquid and cream form. Liquid honey colour ranges from extra white or premium white through golden to amber. The darker the honey, the stronger the taste. Honey will dissolve in any liquid. Consumers can look for a product that says, “Canada No. 1 White, Golden or Amber.”
When you get around to making this, you’re in for a treat that is pretty indescribable.
Slice the chicken into thin strips and place inside a small Ziploc bag. Add to this ½ cup of honey and salt and pepper, bay leaves and sage leaves. Seal the bag and place in fridge. (It’s a good idea to let the chicken marinate for 24 hours.).
In a hot pan add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Remove the chicken from the fridge and place in the pan, let the chicken first brown on one side then the other. Turn the heat down and let simmer and cook slowly for a further 20 minutes or until it is tender and will separate with a fork.
In a second hot pan pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the sliced onion. Turn the heat down and let gently simmer until just past clear; then add to this the remaining honey. The goal is to caramelize the onion.
Heat another pan and put in the 3 slices of bacon. Cook until crisp.
Now the fun begins. In the toaster, toast your first two pieces of bread. When they’re toasted, put in the final piece. Butter the two pieces of toast. Then spread a little mayonnaise on top of one piece. On this, place your lettuce, basil, tomato slices, cucumber slices and finally your cooked bacon, with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Add your next piece of toast with the butter side facing up; spread a little more mayonnaise, then the cooked chicken and finally the caramelized onion, with another pinch of salt and pepper. Finally butter the last piece of toast and place on top.
Slice the honey chicken club sandwich in two and enjoy.
Ian Leatt is general manager of Pegasus Publications and a trained chef.