Editor’s note: Each month, British Airways “Club” magazine publishes as a regular feature a club sandwich recipe contributed by a world class chef. BA is kind to share the recipe with bloggers. In its March 2016 edition “Club Magazine” interviewed Chef Helene Darroze, whose restaurants have earned her multiple Michelin stars. Here is France’s culinary gift to Great Britain and her thoughts on what makes a memorable club sandwich.
Chef Helene Darroze’s take on the classic Club Sandwich
What makes a great Club Sandwich?
I insist upon the best ingredients for the sandwich. I use roast confit chicken from Les Landes in France, famous for its birds. I also favour fresh, well-toasted pain de mie, a slightly sweet sliced bread.
What secret ingredient do you use?
My twist is to use confit (slow-roasted) tomatoes. There’s nothing worse than a tasteless tomato, so if they’re out of season, confit them for a better flavour.
Where’s the most unexpected place you’ve eaten a Club Sandwich?
Everyone loves a Club Sandwich when travelling as it’s not something you tend to make at home. The most delicious one I’ve had was at the Four Seasons George V in Paris.
You are a multi-starred Michelin Chef, where are your restaurants located?
London at The Connaught Hotel (two stars). Helene Darroze Restaurants in Paris.
Recipe: Hélène Darroze’s Club Sandwich
Ingredients (serves four)
2 corn-fed chicken breasts
12 slices of smoked bacon
Drizzle of olive oil
Pinch of salt (fleur de sel)
1 lime, juiced
3 slices of pain de mie
20g sliced black truffle
35g sliced Comté cheese
6 leaves of iceberg lettuce
20 pieces of confit tomato (from five tomatoes)
For the garnish
1 lime, juiced
20 small circles of black truffle
1. Cut the chicken breast in half lengthways. Flatten with the back of a pan or meat hammer. Season with olive oil and salt.
2. Grill on both sides until cooked through. Keep warm.
3. Lay the strips of bacon on a non-stick baking sheet. They should overlap each other in a shingling fashion. Put another non-stick baking sheet on top and cook at 180C for 15 minutes until golden brown. Keep warm.
4. Slice the avocado into thin slices and season with olive oil, fleur de sel, lime juice and espelette pepper.
5. Toast the bread, then add a thin layer of mayonnaise to the first slice. Add half of the grilled chicken, sliced truffles, half of the bacon, and avocado.
6. Spread the next slice of toast with mayonnaise and add to the stack. Then add another layer of chicken, the confit tomato and another layer of bacon. Top with the Comté cheese and a lettuce leaf, cut to size.
7. Spread the last piece of toast with mayonnaise and close the sandwich.
8. Cut into even squares and insert a skewer into each.
9. To make the garnish, put the avocados in a blender with the juice of the lime and water. Purée and pass through a fine sieve. Season to taste and transfer to a squeezy bottle.
10. Pipe 2tbsp of sauce onto your plate and, with a pastry brush, make a clean circle shape. On the side put a few more dots of purée, and top each dot with a truffle circle and some gold leaf.
Helene Darroze Restaurant at The Connaught Hotel, London
Helene Darroze Restaurant, Sixth Arrondissement, Paris