In this series, our Head Chef Elana Karp shares the recipes for dishes she’s dreamed about.
While March technically marks the start of spring, its forever iffy weather and last minute snow storms often have me craving comfort food, while keeping things on the lighter side. Chicken salad and BLTs are two of my all time favorite sandwiches, and putting them together seemed like an obvious plan for this in-between month. The sweet brioche bread paired with salty bacon, tender chicken salad, and subtle spiciness from Dijon mustard make for a perfect, lightened-up spring sandwich.
1 chicken breast
3 slices thick cut bacon
1 vine ripe tomato
1 stalk celery
¼ cup mayonnaise plus 2 teaspoons
1-2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 pieces thick sliced brioche bread
Preheat oven to 425F. Pat chicken dry with paper towel and season all over with .5 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken and sear until cooked through and no longer pink, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside to rest for about 5 minutes. Using 2 forks or tongs, shred chicken into bite-size pieces.
Place bacon on a cooling rack over a baking sheet. Bake in oven until very crisp, 15–20 minutes.
In a large bowl whisk together mayonnaise and dijon mustard. Season with .25 teaspoon salt and black pepper as desired. Set aside 2 tablespoons of dressing to spread on bread.
Rinse celery and halve lengthwise. Cut into .25-inch slices crosswise. Add shredded chicken with any juices and celery to bowl with dressing and gently stir to coat. Set aside.
Rinse lettuce and tomato. Thinly slice tomato and tear lettuce into bread-sized pieces.
Spread 2 teaspoons butter on outside of brioche slices. Heat a medium pan over medium heat. Add bread, mayo side down, and toast until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes.
Break bacon into 1-inch pieces. Stack chicken salad, bacon, lettuce and tomato on bread. Spread reserved dressing on top piece of bread and finish sandwiches.