Damn Good Sandwich: Coronation Chicken

Some sandwiches get all the glory. Bellies of the world sing their bloated praises to the reubens, clubs, and grilled cheeses that delivered them, and these are all Damn Good Sandwiches we shall meet in due time. But today, friends, we’re going to praise a struggling talent that never gets its moment in the sun.* We’re going to make a star out of a hearty hunk of lunch that should be scarfed from Honolulu to whatever the capital of Maine is — Toronto, I think. Kidding! Everyone knows the capital of Maine is Stephen King. 

But back to this scrappy contender you should be eating already. The Mackenzie is a curious type of chicken salad sammich that uses mango chutney as its binding agent rather than your greasier condiments. Save that coconut oil for your hair, son: All we need is a morass of pungent fruit and roots. It’s…less orgiastic than it sounds.

There are two ways of making this tasty beast. In one, you just buy everything you need in powder form. In the other, I make it by scratch and impress your woman so much she leaves you for me. Your way takes five minutes. My way gets results. But if you’re just making this for yourself, quick and dirty is fine: It’s not like you’re going to make a bad Mackenzie.

The sandwich itself is simple enough to prepare: just four ingredients lie between two slices of bread. But one of them is a traitor! Can you guess which one before it leads the group to our deaths? Let’s inspect them closely to out the culprit.

Bread: Get something hearty: an oatmeal loaf or a multigrain. You’ve got a lot of sharp flavors in the contents, so you want something mild but meaty to absorb it all.

Meat: Diced or sliced chicken. No getting around it: You’re going to need a chicken breast. Just dose it with some spice like Adobo or Old Bay and a little olive oil. Sear it for flavor, then reduce the heat to keep it moist. I recommend making dinner the night before and then using the leftovers in your Damn Good Sandwich the next day so you can make this quick. Cut it neither too thick nor too shredded – chunklets are what we’re looking for. Or hey — buy a tub of salad-sized, pre-grilled chicken meat.

Condiment: You should be able to find mango chutney at your local megaconglomerate supermarket, or wherever British people gather to oppress India. If not, it’s easier to make than you think. Like everything else you’ll ever eat, it starts with sauteeing garlic and onions in oil, and you’re free to look up the many, many varieties from there. They all take an hour. But dude, just buy a jar. You’re making a sandwich here. The whole point is quick and easy.

Cheese: Does this look like a sandwich that takes cheese? Your wax milk wouldn’t last five minutes in this flavor-jungle.

Vegetables: There’s one vegetable in here, and it’s a sprig of cilantro what garnishes the meat and chutney, see? Some people are genetically forbidden from enjoying cilantro, and never stop reminding you of it. Ruffians, the whole lot of ’em! They’ll die young from liver failure, and you’ll eat their sandwiches.

That said, a piece of Boston lettuce lends some nice chew. People who hate the Red Sox call this “Butter lettuce,” because butter makes anything appetizing. That’s why you’re not allowed to embalm corpses with it. Seal the whole scandalous affair up with a respectable roof of bread. Holy cluck! You’ve got a mango chutney chicken sandwich in your hands! I’m going to call it a Mackenzie, after this dame reporter what first introduced me to it. 

*But don’t actually leave your sandwich in the sun. That’s just begging for listeriosis.

Brendan McGinley was the traitor all along, naturally.

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