What to do with leftover chicken? Shred it, season it, pile on bread, drizzle with Hollandaise sauce and sprinkle with cayenne.
It’s a recipe for leftover chicken, really. Whether the chicken was originally boiled, poached, grilled or roasted does not matter at all. Insofar as this sandwich recipe goes, leftover chicken is leftover chicken. But I recommend that you don’t skip the part about browning shredded chicken meat in butter to reheat.
Making the sauce takes up the lion’s share of the work in this recipe. If you’re wondering if it’s worth the time and effort, let me just say this: The first time I used Hollandaise sauce in lieu of mayo in my chicken sandwich, I knew that, in the future, mayo would forever be a last resort.
What is Hollandaise sauce?
Answer that seeks to impress: It’s one of the five mother sauces in French cooking.
Answer that means to be helpful and informative: It’s an emulsion. Think mayo and Caesar salad dressing. Egg yolks whisked, oil added drop by drop then in a thin stream, continuously whisking until the mixture is thick. Hollandaise is made that way too. But, instead of oil, it’s melted butter.
The remaining consideration (I’m trying my best to read your mind), I suppose, is whether it is possible to make Hollandaise sauce with regular kitchen tools.
Is an electric mixer a must for making Hollandaise sauce?
I have to admit that it is useful. However, it is not a requirement. I have made Hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise and Caesar salad dressing with a wire whisk, and they all came out beautifully.
The problem is that my arm and wrist were aching by the time I was done. That’s the truth. But if you’re confident that your arm and hand muscles are up to the task, then, I’ll cheer you on. But use a wire whisk. A fork is a bad idea.
Hollandaise Chicken Sandwich
- ¾ cup butter
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice mixed with one tablespoon water
- 2 pinches salt
- 1 pinch cayenne optional
To make the sandwiches
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 to 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
- lemon juice
- 4 buns split and toasted
- lettuce leaves
- 4 pinches cayenne
Make Hollandaise sauce
- Melt the butter and cool.
- Place a heat-proof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (the bottom of the bowl must NOT touch the water).
- When the bowl is warm to the touch, pour in the egg yolks and lemon juice mixture, and start whisking them together immediately until lighter in color.
- Transfer the egg yolk mixture to the bowl of the stand mixer (or any mixing bowl if using a hand mixer).
- Start whisking the egg yolks over low speed.
- Turn up the speed to medium and start drizzing in the butter, a few drops at a time at the start.
- When the mixture starts to thicken, turn up the speed to high and pour the melted butter is a very thin stream.
- Continue whisking until the mixture is fully emulsified. To test, scoop with a spoon and allow to drip back into the bowl. If the liquid falls in ribbons, it is done.
- Taste the Hollandaise sauce and add as much salt as your taste buds require. Optionally, stir in a pinch or two of cayenne.
Brown the chicken
- Heat the butter in a pan.
- Add the chicken and spread the meat in a thin layer so that every piece touches the pan.
- Cook over high heat until the underside is browned. No need to flip.
- Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
Assemble the sandwiches
- Lay the bottom halves of the buns on plates and line with lettuce leaves.
- Divide the shredded chicken into four portions and pile one portion on the lettuce-lined bottom half of each bun.
- Drizzle Hollandaise sauce over the chicken.
- Sprinkle with cayenne.
- Serve your Hollandaise chicken sandwiches at once.