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Sitting at home today with one sick kid, a twinging back that’s stopped all my much required exercise and super high temperatures, I suddenly got the idea to make this sandwich. I had an avocado sitting in the fridge for a couple of weeks so thought it’s better to use it up than let it rot. As it is, avocados are super expensive here, I really feel like crap wasting them.
Close to lunchtime I decided to get cracking. The longest part about this dish was the thawing of the chicken breasts. Everything else can be done in a flash and in literally half an hour you’ve go yourself a gourmet sandwich. The poor kid, who had been complaining of hunger pangs from 12.30 p.m. was finally given his food at 2.30 p.m. (chicken thawing time consuming) after being mollified by fruits in between, but it was oh so worth it. He inhaled 2 sandwiches at the speed of light, muttering words of appreciation and I even got a big fat hug out of it. He even helped assemble the sandwich! “Should I blog it?” I asked. “Most definitely”, came the answer. So here it is!
You can use any bread you want. I used simple multigrain bread that was lying at home and did not toast my bread. You can even add some leafy greens such as rocket leaves to the sandwich. If you like rocket, it will give the sandwich more complexity. I thought about leaving half a sandwich for the husband for when he comes back at night but …… nah. I was sooooo hungry that I ate two whole ones myself.
Ingredients (Makes 4)
For the chicken
2 chicken breasts + salt and pepper
1 tbsp oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 level tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp kashmiri mirch flakes or paprika (optional)
8 slices of bread (I used multigrain)
Cashew butter or mayonnaise
4 small tomatoes or 3 large ones sliced into rounds
1 large ripe avocado sliced fine or spooned
salt and pepper
Get started (Pictorial steps below)
- In a small bowl mix the balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, pepper and chilli flakes nicely and set aside.
- Slice the chicken breasts horizontally into halves. You can flatten the fatter parts with a rolling pin so that they cook evenly. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.
- Heat the oil in a flat bottomed non-stick pan or stainless steel pan. Add the chicken and grill on medium heat for 1 minute on each side. Then add the balsamic vinegar mixture and on high heat let it bubble for five minutes, turning the chicken every once in a while so that the sauce caramelises every side. After five minutes turn off the heat, coat the chicken well with the remainder sticky sauce in the pan on both sides and remove them onto a plate or foil and leave them to rest while you start assembling the sandwich.
- Spread the cashew butter or mayonnaise on four slices of bread. Then add a layer of sliced tomato on each slice of bread. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the layer of tomato. Then add a layer of avocado over the tomato and top that with the balsamic chicken. Spoon the juices that have run out while the chicken was resting over the chicken and avocado. Do not waste a drop.
- Place the remaining slices of bread on to each of the sandwiches. You can spread cashew butter or mayonnaise on the top slice too or forgo it if you wish. You can even add some rocket leaves to the sandwich if available.
- Enjoy your yummy sandwich warm.
Important Notes: Do not overcook your chicken, stick to the timings I’ve given here. Chewy, rubbery chicken will most definitely ruin your sandwich no matter how lovely the balsamic coating is.
Use VERY MILD chilli flakes. You don’t want it overpowering the dish.