Fennel-Edamame Chicken Salad Sandwich: Sqirl Food

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Fennel-Edamame Chicken Salad Sandwich

Los Angeles has all kinds of restaurants. Exotic ethnicities and regional American specialties. Meat. Seafood. Vegetarian. Vegan. Old-School. New-School. Fast Food. Slow Food. But have you ever been to a really great toast restaurant? This Fennel-Edamame Chicken Salad Sandwich is inspired by toast (and the stuff you put on toast) as imagined by Jessica Koslow of Sqirl, a restaurant in Los Angeles. If you’re not sufficiently impressed by the idea of a toast restaurant, then let me ask you this: Have you ever been to a really great burnt toast restaurant? Burnt brioche topped with homemade ricotta is how I came to love the place so much.

One more thing before I get to the Fennel-Edamame Chicken Salad Sandwich (on Toast) recipe. I want you to fully appreciate how unlikely the success of this restaurant is. This is Los Angeles. People are lining up on the sidewalk to eat toast.

Toast is carbs! See what I mean?

All joking aside, Sqirl may have landed on the LA scene by feeding us toast and jam, but the menu has broadened to include all kinds of seasonal breakfast, brunch, and almost-lunch specialties.

This Fennel-Edamame Chicken Salad Sandwich counts as an almost-lunch specialty.

Fennel-Edamame Chicken Salad Sandwich

Last year Bon Appetit featured a similar Sqirl sandwich featuring springtime flavors like fava and tarragon. They didn’t call their version a sandwich, but come on – Sqirl is a toast restaurant – this is definitely a sandwich. An open-faced sandwich. The very best kind.

My summertime version is sprinkled with fresh mint and lemon verbena from my garden. It’s also laced with edamame beans because the only time I ever find fresh edamame is in the summertime. Come autumn I’ll be making this open-faced sandwich with turkey, sage and maybe a few of those little red cranberry beans – on toast naturally. GREG

Fennel-Edamame Chicken Salad Sandwich

Fennel-Edamame Chicken Salad Sandwich

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source Adapted from Sqril, Los AngelesPublished

Chicken can be cooked 2 days ahead; cover and chill. Shred just before using. Edamame can be cooked 2 days ahead; cover and chill.

Fennel-Edamame Chicken Salad Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 skin-on, bone-in chicken breast
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
  • kosher salt (as needed for seasoning)
  • freshly cracked black pepper (as needed for seasoning)
  • 2 ½ cup edamame in pods (either fresh and raw or blanched and frozen)
  • ½ cup crème fraîche
  • ½ fennel bulb (cored and thinly sliced lengthwise)
  • 1 scallion (thinly sliced, white and some of the greens)
  • 2 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon very thinly sliced fresh lemon verbena leaves (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar (or other mild, white vinegar)
  • ½ cup crème fraîche
  • ½ English cucumber very thinly sliced lengthwise on a mandoline
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 8 slice whole grain bread (lightly toasted)

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°. Place chicken on a small rimmed baking sheet and rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until golden brown and cooked through, 25–30 minutes. Let cool, then shred into bite-size pieces.

If using fresh and raw edamame cook in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water. If using blanched and frozen edamame beans, cook 2 minutes; transfer to a bowl of ice water, then drain. Once drained remove edamame from pods, you should have about 1-cup unshelled beans; discard pods.

Meanwhile, whisk crème fraîche in a medium bowl to soft peaks (it will look fluffy); season with kosher salt and set aside.

Toss edamame in a large bowl with fennel, scallion, mint, lemon verbena (if using), fennel fronds, vinegar, shredded chicken, and remaining 3 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper.

Toss cucumber with parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Just before serving add the cucumber mixture to the chicken mixture and gently toss to combine. Spread some of the crème fraîche onto the toasts or alternatively place a dollop right on the plate. Then top toasts with chicken salad mixture; season with salt and pepper.