Saturday, May 3, 2014

Le Club Sandwich

This began when Gerard and I lived in Paris and many of our friends would invite us to stay with them for long weekends in the country. Traffic back to Paris at the end of the weekend was so terrible that we would return to the city in the morning and meet in our garden for lunch and an afternoon of cards. After a weekend of traditional French meals, I would prepare the American favorite—"Le Club Sandwich."  But life was still in the "making everything at home" era in France, so I would actually boil the chicken, make my own mayonnaise and compose the perfect Club Sandwich. It is so much better than what you can do with store-bought items that I continue to regale my family with My Famous Le Club Sandwich.  
Ingredients (Serves four)
1 chicken
2 carrots, peeled
2 stalks celery
1 parsnip
1 onion, peeled
3 sprigs parsley
4 eggs, hard-boiled and sliced
12 slices bacon
8 large but thin tomato slices
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 raw egg yolk                                                                                                                                            Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup peanut oil
12 slices white bread

Place the chicken in a pot of chicken stock and/or water. (The more stock, the better the flavor, but it works with water.) Bring to a boil and skim off the foam. Lower to medium heat and add carrots, celery, parsnip, the onion and the parsley. Simmer for one hour and fifteen minutes, or until the chicken is done. Meanwhile boil the eggs, cook the bacon, slice the tomatoes and make the mayonnaise.
For the mayonnaise: Put the mustard in the bottom of a bowl. Add the egg yolk and whisk. Add salt and pepper, whisking some more. Slowly trickle the oil into the mixture, whisking vigorously as you go. The mayonnaise should thicken until it reaches the right consistency. Add a tablespoon of vinegar and whisk some more.
Take the chicken out. Strain and reserve the chicken broth for soup or stock. (Degrease it first). While chicken is still warm (not hot), cut meat into slices—both white and dark—and keep aside.

Lightly toast your bread. As the slices come out of the toaster, immediately spread mayonnaise on one side. Cover the bottom slice with the warm chicken, mixing both white meat and dark meat. Top with slices of hard-boiled egg. Cover with a toast, mayonnaise side down, and smear mayonnaise on the open side. Place bacon slices and tomato slices on the second layer and cover with the third slice of toast (mayonnaise side down). With a large knife, cut the sandwiches in half diagonally and again to make triangle quarters. Stick a toothpick in each and serve. 

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