Everyone seems to have their own favorite chicken salad. Me, I like mine spiked with piquant olives and capers, some lemon and creamy mayo. And for the bread, well that depends on my mood; some days it's a crispy ciabatta, other times it might be a softer multi-grain. Either works well.
Now cooking the chicken just right, so it remains juicy and tender, is really what it's all about. I decided to use skin on, bone-in chicken breast halves and rub them under and over the skin with a mix of spices and herbs. Then, into a hot cast iron skillet, and a 450 oven so they'd cook up quickly, moist, tender, and full of flavor. Perfect in a chicken salad, or on their own.
Makes 4 sandwiches
2 teaspoons coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 bone-in, skin on chicken breast halves (1 1/2 pounds total)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup mayo
10 large green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained, chopped if large
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 large ciabatta rolls (each about 10 inches), split or 4 rolls
1. In a small bowl combine the salt, coriander, paprika, thyme, and sugar. With your fingers, lift the skin of the chicken and rub some of the spice mixture under it. Rub the remaining spice mixture over the chicken. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 450. Pour the oil into a large cast iron skillet, or other ovenproof skillet and place the skillet in the oven. Heat for 10 minutes. Place the chicken in the skillet skin side down and cook until the skin side is crisp and the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
3. In a large bowl stir together the mayo, olives, capers, and lemon juice.
4. When cool enough to handle, remove the bone, slice the chicken crosswise into 1-inch pieces, then lengthwise into bite-size pieces. Add the chicken to the bowl with the mayo mixture and toss to combine. Spoon onto the bread, close, and then cut in half to make four.