Horseradish-crumb chicken with bacon, guacamole & salsa
It’s been pointed out on more than one occasion that this blog sticks firmly to the classic interpretation of a sandwich – two bits of bread with a load of fillings twixt those leavened slices. Why no rolls? Why no open-faces? Why no wraps? Truth be told, I’m just a loaf lover – a good bread is the key that holds together a quality sandwich, and with all the breads out there, especially amongst London bakeries, I’m spoiled for choice. But hell, sometimes it’s good to mix it up a bit, and as testament to that, I opted to go for a wholemeal option yesterday, but took a different path and rolled up a ridiculous wrap.
At the heart of this wholegrain weapon is chicken, which I’ve really been pounding on this week – thigh meat again, but with a bit of a twist. Given the Butty’s Finsbury Park homeland, I was inspired by a reader to do something in the vein of the nine fried chicken restaurants that operate within 500 yards of the station entrance (I shit you not). Now, being on a bit of a health kick, fried chook is definitely not something I’m willing to entertain in a home-made sandwich, as much as I do love a guilt-ridden chicken burger deal on the way back from a boozy night in Brewdog. So in this homage, I’ve taken the breaded option instead, using really crisp breadcrumbs to get a good crunch. Dipping the chicken in an egg and horseradish mix (a few teaspoons giving the chicken a nice little fiery kick) and smothering it in lemon, oregano and pepper crumb, they were oven-baked until the chicken was moist and cooked through and the crumb was crisp and golden.
Over to the wrap, and this was a serious build – aiming to use up as much of my home-made salsa and guac as possible, I was going for a side-splitter with this rollup. On the bottom, a big handful of Italian leaf salad, followed up with several generous spoonfuls of my homemade salsa, and a shredded rasher of back bacon. The crumbed chicken was scattered on top of this, with a big strip of my rough-mashed guacamole closing things out above. There’s no spread on this wrap – the moisture from the salsa and the guac and the succulent chicken is all you need – so combined with the fact that the meat’s grilled, there’s an abundance of fresh veg and that the filling’s wrapped in wholemeal, this really is the thinking, healthy man’s alternative to that shitty, oily chicken wrap you were thinking about grabbing from Generic Fried Chicken. I guess that what started out as an homage may well have turned into more of a two-fingered salute…