Serious Eats: Recipes

Eat For Eight Bucks: Crunchy Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Bacon

[Photograph: Cara Eisenpress of Big Girls, Small Kitchen]

As spring approaches, I feel less hesitant about presenting a sandwich as dinner food. Me, I'm happy when two slices of bread protect just about any filling, but I'm also the type who's plenty satisfied with a $1.50 slice of pizza stuffed in my face on the street. In spring and summer, a sandwich is totally justifiable, easy to prepare, cool, and transportable for when the time comes to eat outdoors.

The most economical time to make this sandwich is after you've simmered a pot of chicken soup. Salvage the soup chicken from the pot, shred it, and you're good to go. Other times, just buy a couple chicken thighs, as in the recipe below, and poach 'em.

Our philosophy with sandwiches is to add a little something extra, whether it's chipotle mayo, pickled shallots, or buttery pears. Here, bacon is the classic, indulgent "extra." When it's really summer, a thick slice of tomato would be a nice addition.

Shopping List: about 1 lb chicken thighs, $2.50; 3 slices bacon, $1; 4 slices bakery whole-grain bread, $1.00 (prorated); 2 scallions, $0.25 (prorated); 2 carrots, $0.50; 2 stalks celery, $0.50 (prorated)
Pantry Items: Onion, Apple Cider Vinegar, Salt, Mayonnaise, Pepper
Total Cost (for 2 portions): $5.75

About the authors: Phoebe and Cara are the co-founders of Big Girls, Small Kitchen, a food and cooking website for twenty-something cooks looking for user-friendly, affordable ways to navigate their kitchens. They have a heated, decade-long rivalry about whose Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie is the best. Their book, In The Small Kitchen, will be published in the spring of 2011 by William Morrow. Visit their blog here.

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