On Parade: A Real Recipe for My Chili-Chicken Sandwich
The ‘official’ sandwich is in no way an authentic banh-mi (nor do I expect everyone to follow it to the letter and I’m so fine with that), but it’s got the banh-mi’s soft bread and strong flavors, chili sauce and mayonnaise, and, for some heat, in addition to the sriracha, I’ve layered in slices of jalapeno pepper.
And these days, I either oven-bake chicken breasts for the sandwich or poach them. To poach four chicken cutlets, bring about 6 cups of salted water to the boil with a smashed clove of garlic and about 4 slices of ginger. If you’d like, you can add a point from a star anise and a splash of soy sauce and/or sesame oil, but these are really embellishments and in no way essential. Slip the cutlets into the ‘broth’, lower the heat to a gentle and steady simmer and let the chicken poach until it is opaque at the center. Don’t toss the poaching liquid — it makes a delicious pick-me-up sipped from a mug.
You can use this same method for poaching chicken on the bone. Poach the pieces for about 15 minutes, turn off the heat and then leave them in the pot — they’ll finish cooking as the broth cools.
Whatever kind of chicken you use, I hope you’ll make the sandwich and, as you did with the original sandwich, tell me about your variations.