Throughout high school my mom packed my lunch everyday. I went to the same school for ten years, so after awhile the food gets a little old. I have to admit though, my school had a pretty good cafeteria. We had a selection of both Western and Korean food, and there was rarely anything we would call “mystery meat.” Most people just bought food from the cafeteria, but I liked bringing food from home. My mom usually packed me a sandwich and a sliced apple. The sandwiches were always simple and clean on a soft bread, but very good. My friends would always ask for bites and I would end up eating only about half the sandwich. But it was fine, it always made me happy to share my food with them. One of the sandwiches my mom made was a chicken salad sandwich. So, when the idea of the summer picnic came up I thought I should ask my mom for the recipe.
Chicken salad is almost a must at picnics. It’s easy to make, easy to bring, and easy to eat. However, I rarely find a chicken salad that I like. Most often the chicken is drenched in mayo and everything tastes slimy and goopy. I’m not a huge fan of mayonnaise but don’t mind it when it’s used in moderation. This is a very healthy chicken salad and uses only a little bit of mayo as a binder rather than a main ingredient. If you like a heavily mayo-fied version, then this sandwich will not be what you expect. However, I think you should give it a try anyways because it really is good.
The sandwich is super easy to make and doesn’t require many ingredients. I placed a couple of apple slices to each sandwich to add my little two cents to the recipe. It gives it a nice sweet crunch to the moist chicken. The onions also give a nice texture contrast. I’m not a big fan of raw onions, but these are not so overpowering because they were zapped in the microwave for a couple of seconds and squeezed. They’re milder, but still give the feeling of a raw onion.
I made three sandwiches with a rustic, crusty sour dough bread. It was a good bread choice for a picnic, but it would have been better with a softer sandwich bread like the one my mom used to pack me. I think the recipe would really make two good sized sandwiches even though I made three. So unless a third wheel unexpectedly joins your party, make the following recipe proportions for two.
Mom’s Chicken Salad Sandwich
2 medium chicken breasts
1 medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon dijon or regular mustard
salt and pepper
1 small apple, thinly sliced
4 slices bread of choice
Boil chicken in water until cooked through. Set aside until warm enough to touch. Shred the chicken into desirable sized pieces. You can make this the night before and store in the refrigerator overnight.
Place the onion slices on a plate and microwave for 15 to 20 seconds. Squeeze some of the juice out with a paper towel. Combine with the shredded chicken. Add the mayonnaise and mustard. Mix together. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
To assemble, place a few apple slices on one slice of bread. Spread half the chicken salad on top and then close the sandwich.