Celebrity Sandwich with Karen Martini
In episode nine of Celebrity Sandwich, make a Super-deluxe roast chicken roll with Karen Martini
"This the sort of sandwich I imagine eating when you’ve just come off the beach and you’re starving. It’s simple but crammed with fresh herbs, the crunch of lettuce, warm roast chicken, and the dressing that backs it all up.
The roll is great on its own, but I love a side-garnish with a sandwich, and going the extra mile and making the onion rings is really worth it."
Super-deluxe roast chicken roll with paprika onion rings: Makes four
- Four rolls or half a ciabatta, split
- Half a well-seasoned roast chicken, the meat pulled from the bones and mixed with about half the skin – roughly 650g
- 250g thick mayonnaise
- 100ml plain yoghurt
- 2½ tsp green Tabasco sauce
- 1½ tsp salt flakes
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, finely crushed (I grate mine on a Microplane)
- ½ tbs white vinegar
- The juice of half a lemon
- Half a bunch of dill, finely picked and lightly chopped so it is still fluffy
- A quarter of a bunch of parsley leaves, finely cut
- Some small yellow leaves from the heart of a bunch of celery, torn
- 5 spring onions, the white part finely sliced into rounds
- Half a bunch of watercress
- A quarter of an iceberg lettuce, chopped
- 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- The cooking juices leftover from roasting the chicken
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the mayonnaise, Tabasco, yoghurt, lemon juice, white vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and spring onion
- Add the shredded warm chicken, celery leaves and herbs. Combine all of this very well and try it. This mix should taste awesome. Add more salt, pepper, lemon, and/or Tabasco to adjust it to your liking
- Butter the inside of your bread roll well on both sides, and spoon in some of the cooking juices of the chicken. Fill the bread with a little lettuce and watercress leaves and add the chicken. Garnish with a little extra water cress. You’re good to go, but it’s even better with onion rings
Fried onion rings
As I said, these aren’t strictly necessary – the roast chicken rolls are great as they are – but I love a little something extra with a sandwich, and they’re worth the effort.
- 3 brown or white salad onions peeled and sliced in 2cm-thick rings
- 600mls of buttermilk (or milk with a squeeze of lemon juice added to it)
- 100g fine polenta, 300g plain flour and a tsp flaked sea salt, mixed
- Oil for frying
- 1 tsp flaked salt extra, to season the rings after they’re cooked
- 1 teaspoon paprika (I’ve used smoked paprika, optional)
- Sour cream, to serve (optional)
- Soak the cut onion rings in the buttermilk (an hour is good, but you can also leave them overnight)
- Drain the onion rings. Dust them liberally in the flour and semolina mix
- Working a few rings at a time in batches so you the pan doesn’t get crowded, fry the onions in hot oil until they’re golden, about four minutes (I’ve used about 10cm of oil at about 170C; take care when frying – the oil may spit). Keep the cooked rings warm on paper towel while you fry the others
- Season the fried rings with salt and dust with paprika. Pile the rings on top of your hot roll and, if you like a fancy flourish, secure them with a skewer
Don’t worry about the garlic being raw; the acid from the vinegar and the lemon juice takes the sting out of it.
Chop your herbs lightly – you want to keep them feeling fluffy and alive
About Karen Martini
Melbourne chef, restaurateur, author and food writer, Karen Martini has been cooking professionally for more than 20 years.
She trained at top restaurant Tansy’s in the early 1990s and has headed such celebrated restaurant kitchens as the Melbourne Wine Room, Icebergs Dining Room & Bar in Sydney, and her artisan St Kilda pizza restaurant Mr Wolf (which she runs with her husband, Michael Sapountsis).
Karen is also the author of several cookbooks, a presenter on Seven’s Better Homes & Gardens, and an ambassador for Queen Victoria Market. Keep up with the latest in her world via Instagram.
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