Chicken sandwiches

Photographer: Emma
Makes 4 Sandwiches

It’s a rainy Saturday in New Plymouth and whilst I am lucky enough to be sheltered indoors from the elements, my boyfriend is not quite so fortunate.  Underneath the house, safely tucked away in his mums garage is his beautiful Humber Super Snipe and this weekend has been earmarked to give her a bit of vehicular TLC.  So, up roll the garage doors and out roll the tools, his friends, their dogs, the overalls and work boots and the unrelenting sideways rain.  Not remotely perturbed, the boys set to task and when I return several hours later the air is heavy with the fumes of motor oil, their hands black with grease decades old and the sideways rain continues to fall.  The engine has been removed from its bay and now hangs suspended above the ground.  Around it the boys work and a stolid focus befalls them.  They busy themselves with cleaning the black, metal mass in front of them, replacing seals and washing away decades of grime finally to finish the day painting the old engine a beautiful royal blue.

Not being able to provide any support of the mechanical kind I instead retired to the kitchen where I whipped up a plate of chicken sandwiches to sate the hunger of the boys as they toiled.  They were served alongside a good black beer, both gratefully received.


1 tbsp olive oil
2 chicken thighs
1 shallot, sliced
1 tsp fresh thyme, leaves striped from stalks
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
¼ stalk celery, finely chopped
¼ cup yoghurt or mayo or combo of both
1 heaped tsp, wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp flaked almonds (optional)

8 slices bread (I used sourdough)
4 slices cheese (I used Swiss)
4 lettuce leaves (I used Cos)


1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken until browned and cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
2. In the same pan, sauté the shallots and thyme then add to the chicken to cool.
3. Either shred or finely chop up the chicken and place in a bowl. Add all other ingredients (aside from the cheese and lettuce), season to taste and mix to combine. If the mixture is a bit dry then add extra mayo/yoghurt.
4. Spread 4 slices of bread with the chicken mixture, top with cheese and lettuce and place another slice of bread on top. Cut in two and serve immediately.