It’s no surprise that today I am posting about a sandwich given my recent overactive Instagram stream. I dedicate this post to MY perfect sandwich. A perfect blend of nostalgia, haute cuisine and comfort food. How is that possible you ask? Well, let me break it down. Before I go any further it should be noted that this sandwich was served to a crowd of A-list chef’s during last years Michelin Guide party. Michael White, Jean Georges and David Bouley all savored bites but the best quote came from Mr. Eric Ripert. After his taste he told me to let me mother know she’d done a good thing. I’m not sure if he was talking about her chicken cacciatore recipe or raising me to cook well. Either way, a nice compliment for both of us.
So, back to the sandwich. The nostalgia is, yes, my mother’s classic chicken cacciatore recipe. A mid-week staple in the Anello house while growing up. Better than the original meal were the “on-the-go” sandwiches we’d create the next day with whatever bread, roll, pita was laying around in the breadbox. Yes, we did have a breadbox. I loved it. The haute component is both the size, the slow braise on the chicken and the addition of two new components to my mom’s original recipe, caramelized shallots and a roasted cherry tomato. Maybe the most important part of this sandwich is my last explanatory adjective, comfort food. Everything about how I cook is comfortable (with that Italian-American slant). This sandwich is no exception defined first by the rich and silky sauce. Secondly, the sauce soaked focaccia the other ingredients live between. Even with the skewer you can’t eat this sandwich without getting a little sauce on your fingers. The way to clean that up is with your tongue not your napkin. A small, some may say maniacal, way for me to force eaters to connect with their food a little more. Evil or not, it works.
We will someday recreate these for the public but for now we are slowly working our way through HUGE sandwich research. You can follow the experiments here.