The Chezpei cookbook needs you (chicken curry sandwich)
I'm revisiting the idea of writing a cookbook to pass out at my wedding. Nothing professional, just a fun little amateur cookbook to amuse my friends. There won't be any groundbreaking new recipes. It's more a compilation of things fiance and I love to eat, eat all the time, or have sort of "invented" over the years.
So now that the idea's taking shape, I have recipes to share! I thought I'd post them as I wrote them into the cookbook, both to see what people think and to maybe get a few volunteers to help test my recipes and proportions.
I would definitely appreciate all the help I can get! Some of my recipes have been extensively tested by friends, so I know they're spot on. Some I just eyeball all the time, but I want to be more specific for those new cooks.
So here's the first: chicken curry sandwich ispired by Specialtie's Bakery in San Francisco.
Ingredients (makes a quart of chicken salad, or enough for four or more sandwiches)
• two boneless skinless chicken breasts, about a pound each
• 1/4 cup mayonnaise
• ½ small onion, diced very finely
• ½ tsp curry powder
• 1 tsp salt, separated
• ¼ tsp black pepper
• ¼ cup raisins
• ¼ cup chopped pine nuts
Pre-heat oven to 400˚. Dry chicken well and sprinkle with salt. Pound slightly to even out the thickness of the chicken. Bake for 25 minutes, then start checking the internal temperature. Remove the chicken when the internal temperature reaches 160˚, and let cool for at least ten minutes. Your baking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken breasts.
Cut the chicken into cubes smaller than one centimeter per side. You can mix it up and have some very small and some very large pieces if you like. Add the mayonnaise, onions, curry powder, salt, pepper, and optional items. Stir well and taste for salt. You won’t really be able to taste for the strength of the curry powder until the tiny granules melt into the mayonnaise. Let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour, then taste.
Specialtie’s always served this sandwich on their potato poppy seed bread, but use your favorite sandwich bread and remember to add a generous handful of alfalfa sprouts and mixed greens.
Pei - if you're looking to make sure that new cooks are comfortable with the recipes (love the idea of you giving out your favorite recipes at your own wedding!), you might want to clarify the chicken breast definition.
I read the recipe as being made with two whole chicken breasts (because of your "makes one quart" delineation and that it makes enough for 4 or more sandwiches), but new cooks could construe "two b/s chicken breasts" as two breast HALVES - not a whole breast.
Just a thought.
I actually used two breast halves--see the confusion starting already?--but they were HUGE. I think I need to use a weight instead.
LOL! See? And with the FrankenChickens being bred and sold now, the confusion can only get worse.
Perhaps both specifying halves, AND an approximate total weight of meat might work.
2 breasts halves at 2 lbs? Yikes where did you get that chicken from?
Sorry, but that seems so,,,, ahem.... large.
What a project! When cooking (not baking) I would be inclined to use estimates in my measurements rather than try to search for exact weights. People usually do adjust to their own tastes anyway, or you could advise them to.
Hope that my input is ok..
Actually if I have two breast halves in the freezer (from Costco), I will make your recipe for us tomorrow....
Sounds delicious, Pei. I will try it soon and report back. What kind of bread is your favorite and can you clarify 1 tsp. salt, separated? Separated between the breasts and then salting after mixing the ingredients together? By the way, excellent idea of the recipe book. Wish I could get a copy!
re: mochi mochi
Another great catch! Yes, 1/2 the tsp is for sprinkling on the chicken and 1/2 is for the final salad.
I really did get frankenchickens this time. I think a number of cups of diced meat might be best. Those guesstimates are all over the place.
chef chicklet, if you end up trying this let me know what your measurements are!
Pei, it might make the most sense to simply specificy "x cups plain cooked chicken, diced in y-sized pieced." That way, people could simply cook the chicken in whatever way they're most comfortable, or use a bought roast chicken, or whatever.
Also, since this is you and your fiance's very personal(ized) cookbook, you might want to include something like "1/2 tsp. curry powder (we especially like blah brand or blech type)," since there's such a wide world of curry powder out there - though I hope none I ever encounter is blah or blach [g].
Oh BTW, they actually spell it Specialty's. Neither way makes any sense to me.
re: Caitlin McGrath
Thanks! I was going to look up the spelling, because all I remembered was that it didn't make any sense.
And thanks to everyone for advice so far. This will definitely help me keep the little details in mind as I type up the other recipes. Very different from jotting down notes for myself!
Pei is there a special story that goes along with this recipe? Since it is for your wedding, wouldn't it be nice if you wrote a little blurb about why this recipe is so special for you and your fiance? This is getting to be a lot of work... huh? My husband and I have some very special recipes that have great stories behind them and I thought it would give a nice touch to your recipe book.
You know I'm already in for one of those copy's. I must tell you if there was any way that I could get anyone in my family to try curry "anything" I would be the first to get your recipe going. So, I'm looking forward to your next posting. Don't keep us in suspense. But I agree, attention to detail is extremely important. Some people could "screw" up a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich. lol :-)
don't I know it. Details are crucial.
We'll see how the final copy comes out, but I think I would be very happy to provide copies to fellow hounds for my cost plus shipping. I think that would be almost $10 though. I'll have details at www.chezpei.com when it all comes together, but not til after the wedding (January '08).