Monday, September 16, 2013

Sandwich de Pollo (Chicken Sandwich)

This sandwich brings back memories from my childhood. My grandmother used to make it for picnics and luncheons. It is traditionally made with Cuban bread which is a Latin american version of the french baguette. Crusty on the outside and hollow on the inside. Making the bread takes time, but it's worth.

Ingredients to make the bread:

For the starter

  • 3/4 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup white all purpose flour
A day before making the bread, dissolve the yeast in the warm water, mix the flour in until forming a paste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.

After 24 hours it should look like this:

Ingredients to make the dough:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons shortening or lard
  • the yeast starter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Dissolve the yeast in 3 tablespoons of warm water and the sugar in the mixer's bowl. Let rise for about 10-15 minutes.
Add the shortening or lard, the remaining warm water and the starter prepared the day before.

Mix using the dough hook, and slowly add the flour and salt. 

Increase the speed and knead for 10 minutes until it forms a ball. Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.
Remove from the bowl, and spray with oil. Cover with a linen and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

After one hour, flour the working surface and knock the dough to release the air. Cut into 4 pieces and roll the baguettes.
Place the baguettes in a baking tray with wax paper and cover the baguettes with plastic wrap. Let rise for another hour.

Preheat the oven to 400F.
Remove carefully the plastic wrap. Sprinkle flour with the help of a sieve and make cuts with a very sharp knife. 

Once the oven has reached the temperature, using a spray bottle, sprays the walls of the oven with water. Closet the door and after a minute spray again to create steam. This will help to make the crust of the baguette.

Bake the bread for about 18 minutes until golden brown and and sound hollow when you tap with your fingers. Let cool in a rack at least for 1/2 hour before making the sandwiches.

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 2 chicken breast, deboned and cooked.
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 4 steams celery chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ripe tomatoes cut into slices
  • lettuce
  • mayonnaise
In a food processor, place the chicken breast meat and process for 2 minutes.

Add salt and pepper, the celery and parsley and process for 3 minutes until forming a paste. Add the olive oil and pulse until well mixed.

Add more oil if you prefer a softer consistency.
Keep in the fridge until chilled.

Make the sandwiches, spreading mayonnaise on the bread, chicken paste, lettuce and tomatoes slices.