A roasted chicken, fresh tomatoes from the garden and a new baby boy for Kate and William. All was in alignment for the next Old Food Cooking lab–Royal Chicken Sandwiches.
Why is a common piece of buttered toast topped with chicken, a tomato slice, and grated cheese, run beneath the broiler for a few minutes until it’s golden brown called a royal sandwich? No clue. But now was the perfect time to throw it together.
500 Tasty Sandwiches, published in 1941 for the Culinary Arts Institute in Chicago, has lots of festive party sandwiches and fillings and double and triple-decker treats, but none was more appropriate than the toasty, open-faced royal chicken for this week in July. It was a delicious light evening meal option that incorporated the slowly ripening tomatoes from my garden and paid homage to two-day old George Alexander Louis.
New mom Kate and I labored together, although roasting a chicken is so much easier than delivering the third heir to the British throne. But I was no slouch. I raided my garden again, snipping bunches of parsley and lemon thyme to stuff into the cavity with garlic, salt and pepper. I surrounded the roaster with onions, also pulled from the garden, splashed a bit of olive oil over the skin, and sprinkled kosher salt and pepper all about.
Roasting chicken is one of life’s simplest and most rewarding activities for a cook, and its ease is only exceeded by the meaty fragrance that invades every corner of your house. After a few hours the skin was a deep golden brown, and I lifted it up from the oven rack with great pride. My own little six-pound bundle of kitchen joy.
After cooling a bit, I shoved it into the refrigerator for the next day’s sandwiches. Which brings us to our meal today. The recipe serves 8 but it’s simple arithmetic to decrease the number you prepare. In honor of the young prince, have yourself a royally simple supper. I poured myself a glass of crisp white wine to toast the little guy. You should too.
Royal Chicken Sandwiches
8 slices buttered toast (I used whole grain bread and skipped the butter)
8 slices cooked chicken
8 slices tomato
1 cup grated American cheese ( I used a 2% blend of cheddar and Monterey Jack)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Place slices of buttered toast in a shallow baking pan. Place chicken on toast and tomato on chicken. Sprinkle with salt. Spread thickly with grated cheese mixed with Worcestershire sauce. Melt cheese under the broiler. Serve at once.
Royal sandwiches should get the royal treatment, so I got out my best china. Considering how simple, almost peasant-like this meal was to prepare, I was happy with the delicious result. The chicken was moist, the tomato had home grown goodness, and the Worcestershire-spiked cheese added a nice bit of zest. Jolly good!