Recipe 1.3: Summer Chicken Sandwiches with Homestyle Potatoes
Sandwiches adapted from Rachel Ray
The first time I ever made this dish was as a welcome home dinner for my then-boyfriend, Jason. He was working at camp for the summer and came to visit me for the night. Dinner was the only meal I was able to make for him, since he only had 12 hours off; I had to make the meal count!! He loved the sandwich and it has been one of our favorite summer dishes ever since.
1 package chicken breasts (boneless and skinless – you can also use breast tenderloins here)
1 cup whole pecans
3 slices wheat bread
4 sandwich rolls
½ jalapeno (pickled or fresh)
¼ cup mayo
4 leafs lettuce
1 ripe peach
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg, whisked
8 russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
¼ cup olive oil
Spices: cayenne pepper, garlic powder, rosemary (I used about 1 tablespoon of each)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice potatoes into small, even, bite-sized pieces. Pile onto a rimmed baking sheet, lined with foil. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes. Add spices, then season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, using either clean hands or a spatula. Place baking sheet in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes. Once time is up, switch the oven to broil, on high. Leave the potatoes under the broiler for 15 minutes, or until desired crispiness is reached.
Prepare pecans by placing in a food processor. Pulse until fine. Add to shallow bowl. Prepare breadcrumbs by placing ripped bread in the food processor. Pulse until fine. Spread breadcrumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven, below potatoes. Toast for 5 minutes – keep an eye on these so that they do not burn.
Prep chicken by pounding it thin with the flat side of a meat tenderizer. Once breadcrumbs are toasted, add them to the pecans. Mix well. Set up your breading station, from left to right: chicken, shallow bowl with 1 egg, shallow bowl with pecans and breadcrumbs, baking sheet (use the same one as you did for the breadcrumbs). Working one piece at a time, soak chicken in egg – let excess run off, then coat in pecan mixture, then lay on baking sheet.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add ½ the chicken and cook, turning once, until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Repeat with 2nd batch.
While chicken cooks, lightly toast rolls by placing them in the oven, underneath the potatoes. Mix jalapenos with the mayonnaise, spread on toasted rolls. Slice peaches (remove skin) and wash lettuce. Assemble sandwiches and serve hot potatoes alongside.
To save time on this recipe, you could purchase chopped pecans and prepared breadcrumbs. (Both are usually found on the baking aisle at the grocery store). You can also buy chicken breast cutlets, which are very thin (but often more expensive).
Also, you will want to save about a cup and a half of the potatoes from this dish - you will use them in Recipe 1.5 later on this week!