Chicken and Shallot Jam on Pain au Levain Recipe

Chicken and Shallot Jam on Pain au Levain
Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: | Makes: 4 sandwiches

Tender poached chicken and tangy, sweet, shallot-tarragon jam fill this flavorful sandwich that’s perfect to pack as part of a picnic or sack lunch. Add a side of herbed potato salad for a bright and healthy lunch.

Game plan: The poached chicken can be made 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. The shallot jam can be made up to 3 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

INGREDIENTS

For the poached chicken:

  • 2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the shallot-tarragon jam:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds shallots, peeled, halved, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white wine-tarragon vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon leaves

To assemble the sandwiches:

  • 8 (1/2-inch thick) slices crusty bread, such as pain au levain
INSTRUCTIONS
For the poached chicken:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water by 1 to 2 inches and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium low and simmer gently until the chicken is completely cooked and no longer pink in the center, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid to a cutting board and let cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, make the shallot-tarragon jam.

For the shallot-tarragon jam:

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until the butter is foaming.
  2. Add the shallots, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in 1/4 cup of the vinegar and the sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are completely soft and caramelized and the jam is thick and syrupy, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Let the jam cool for 20 minutes, then stir in the chopped tarragon.

To assemble the sandwiches:

  1. Slice the chicken into 1/4-inch thick pieces.
  2. Evenly divide the shallot jam on 1 side of 4 slices of the bread. Divide the chicken evenly among the sandwiches, placing it on top of the jam in an even layer. Close each sandwich and serve.

Beverage pairing: Louis Bouillot Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé, France. A lovely, simple sparkler made from Pinot and Chardonnay in Burgundy, this rosé is light and delicate and will perform flawlessy alongside the chicken. Its pinkish-red fruit and hint of sweetness will also make it a natural partner for the shallot jam.