Chicken Salad Sandwiches for Teachers!

Do you have any feelings about chicken salad sandwiches?  I do in a very settled way.  Whenever I order a sandwich, I always look for chicken salad on the menu whether I end up ordering it or not.  Chicken salad sandwiches aren't usually Kings of the sandwich world-- more like knights.  Think Chess here.  They aren't flashy visible but stand there with a reliable attitude you can count on.  I can always fall back on a chicken salad sandwich if I don't have anything special in mind that I need to eat.

Here are some great things about chicken salad sandwiches:

1. Super easy to make
2. Can be made with any kind of left over cooked chicken, and I tend to have that
3. Can be super fun to make into different international versions with things like pesto, aioli, curry, avocado, sesame oil, miso, chili, lemon,  etc...
4. Has what I love in life. And lots of it.  Mayonnaise!

I appreciate chicken salad sandwiches.   They're simple, flexible and inexpensive.  Not much messing around and they almost always turn out yummy.  

Speaking of appreciation, I made this tray of sandwiches to honor the teachers and staff at my son's school for the teacher appreciation luncheon.  This inspired me to put in a few thoughts about chicken salad sandwiches.  I wouldn't have naturally thought this sandwich was the one to step it up for such an occasion.  But it is.  It was so much fun to make it for the teachers because I had to think how can I put it in to make it fun and extra tasty to show I appreciate the hard work they do for our kids.  You can see the bits and pieces of my appreciation ingredients in the recipe.  It's an overload!

Recipe:  18 medium sandwiches

4 large chicken breasts
1 avocado
1 cup of chopped red onion
1 stalk celery
a bunch of Italian parsley
1 lemon (zest and 1 tablespoon of juice)
1/3 cup sun flower seeds
1 cup feta cheese
2 tablespoons pesto
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
bay leaf
extra virgin olive oil
ciabatta bread
mixed greens
green grapes

Bring a large pot of water to boil with peppercorn, salt and bay leaf.  Poach chicken breasts for 15 minutes.  Check the chicken by cutting into the middle to see if it's cooked all the way.  If it's pink, cook another 5 minutes.  Take the chicken breasts out on a bowl and let cool.  

Shred the chicken into small pieces.  You can chop them into cubes but  personally I much prefer a shredded texture.  Chop red onion, celery, and parsley.  Cut avocado into cubes. In a large bowl, add shredded chicken, avocado, chopped onion, celery, sunflower seeds, crumbled feta cheese, sun flower seeds, lemon zest, lemon juice, pesto, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar and combine them well.  Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.

Slice ciabatta buns or bread.  Brush extra virgin olive oil on the sliced bread.  Put chicken salad and mix greens on a slice of bread and sandwich it! 

I don't like the texture of grapes in chicken salad but grapes do taste really good with it. 


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