This week's history story by Stan Brown talks about the heritage of the Heritage House (aka the Mogollon Grille and the Journigan House). One small slice of its life is missing. My family had the house at one time, or at least the use of it, when my stepfather, Clay Thorne, had his real estate office in it.
It was on the rundown side at the time, but it was a wonderful old thing and I knew it had all sorts of potential as a real showplace.
When it was the Heritage House it was my favorite place to visit when I came to see my family. I loved the chicken sandwich they served in the Tea Room and strolling through all the nooks and crannies to see the treasures tucked away, waiting for discovery.
I never asked for the sandwich recipe, but have since come across some fairly reasonable facsimiles.
Chopped Chicken Salad Sandwich with Tarragon and Walnuts
1 chicken, about 4 pounds, quartered
1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
About 3 quarts of water
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
2 bay leaves
1-1/4 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried tarragon, crumbled
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
12 slices firm white sandwich bread
2 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
6 leaves crisp lettuce, such as romaine
Place the chicken, onion and carrot in a heavy-bottomed 5-quart pot. Add just enough water to cover the solids. Set over medium heat and stir in 2 teaspoons of salt, the thyme and bay leaves. Cover partially and bring slowly to a simmer. Cook gently, turning once, until the chicken is almost done, with just a touch of pink showing near the bone of the dark-meat quarters, about 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and cool the chicken to room temperature in the poaching liquid.
Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid (reserve the broth for another use) and pat dry. Remove and discard the skin. Pull the meat from the bones. With a long knife, chop the meat into approximately 1/2-inch pieces.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, tarragon, pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the chicken, celery and walnuts; adjust the seasoning.
Up to 30 minutes before serving time, lay six slices of bread on the work surface. Divide the chicken mixture evenly among the slices, spread it to the edges of the bread, using it all. Arrange the tomato slices and lettuce leaves atop the chicken mixture. Set the remaining slices of bread atop the lettuce. With a sharp knife, cut the sandwiches in half on the diagonal. Cover with plastic wrap and drape with a dampened towel until serving.
Or, you could buy two or three cans of nice, already cooked chicken, grate up the carrot, skip the water and bay leaves, mix as directed, then proceed, saving a lot of the time and mess of poaching and peeling a whole chicken. The flavors might not be as well combined, but you would have more time to savor them.
A Faster Chicken Sandwich
leftover roast chicken
Slice or dice the chicken, mix in the mayo, spread on the bread, add spinach leaves, top with another piece of bread. Enjoy.
Chicken Luncheon Sandwich
1-1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon pimento, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
Combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.