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“Mum – I’m Putting the Band Together”

October 13, 2011

Poached Chicken Sandwiches

Last night I was lying on the couch in a drug-induced state courtesy of some prescribed medication following a medical procedure that is too stomach churning to talk about so I’m not going to mention it.  The drugs were working quite nicely but then Archie came into the room holding a ‘gut-string’ guitar.

‘I just love the sound of this gut-string, mum and hey, I’ve written a new song.  Do you want to hear it?’

But I didn’t really have a choice because Archie found a position in the room and started playing the gut string and singing his new song.  While he was singing he was tapping his foot and poking out of his boot was a wooden stick with bells on it that Santa had given Alfie a couple of Christmases ago.  As Archie tapped his foot the bells jingled and the gut-string played and with me having well exceeded the recommended dose, I was seeing and hearing a complete band.

That’s when Archie snapped me out of my near-coma by saying, ‘Mum, I’m putting the band together.’

What band?  There is no band.  There is only Archie who has a couple of guitars, a few harmonicas, a didgeridoo, one of Alfie’s toys and too much spare time.

‘Mum, I’ve been thinking.  I’ve decided I’m not going to Uni next year.  I’m going to get some mates and a car and we’ll travel around Australia and get work gigging in pubs.  Wouldn’t that be awesome’.

Drugs are a good thing.  They mellow out ‘horrified’ and leave you instead feeling stunned.  ‘What do you mean, Archie?’

‘Mum, you’ve got to do these things when you’re young.’

But you don’t have to do these things.  You don’t have to do them at all.  You can be normal and go to Uni and do some study and work weekends in the menswear section of a department store selling ties, socks and jocks like the rest of us did.  We didn’t think of going around Australia in a beat-up car as an alternative to a tertiary eduction.

And we certainly didn’t think of shocking our mothers with major lifestyle changes so soon after returning home from horrendous medical procedures.  We at least waited until the next morning.

So Archie’s downstairs writing more music for ‘the band’ and I’m upstairs filling out his application to numerous colleges.  As my mother said to me, ‘You’ll thank me when you’re older’.

It’s nearly Melbourne Cup Day and as I’m having a group of girls over for lunch that day, I’m practising making chicken sandwiches.  I made these tonight and there were so many fights over them in the kitchen that there are none left for the lunchboxes tomorrow.  I had no idea a decent chicken sandwich would be so popular.  They key is to poach your own chicken which is very easy to do.

The Key Players

Poached Chicken Sandwiches

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Makes:  5 Sandwiches (10 slices of bread)

Cost:  Inexpensive compared to dining in a cafe

2 free-range chicken breasts

1 bay leaf

1 small white onion

5 black peppercorns

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots, green tips included

1/3 cup pinenuts toasted in a frying pan

2 tbspns finely chopped chives

1/2 cup whole egg mayonnaise

10 slices good quality white or wholemeal bread

Place the chicken in a medium saucepan with the onion, bay leaf and peppercorns.  Pour in enough water to cover, then bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes.  Set aside and leave to cool with the lid on.  Once the chicken is cooled, slice it into fine pieces.  Place the chicken in a bowl with the celery, chives, shallots, pine nuts and mayonnaise and mix until well combined.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Spread 5 slices of bread with the chicken filling, top with remaining bread, then cut each sandwich into 3 fingers.

39 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2011 10:09 am

    What a way to kick you when you’re all drugged up! I’m sure he’ll change is mind though….once he realizes the band is just a figment of his imagination.

    This chicken sounds super tasty! I’ve never seen poached chicken packed with this much flavor!

  2. Carl permalink
    October 13, 2011 10:30 am

    Those chicken sandwiches were ridiculously good. Thanks Darl. X

  3. October 14, 2011 12:38 am

    I think I might have to make these this weekend! How often we forget that simple things taste just as good as the gourmet things. I found you through your comment on my blog and I love that you write about what’s happening in your day which frames the recipe you’re making perfectly! It will make a wonderful diary to look back on. Thanks for a great read! : D

  4. October 14, 2011 12:55 am

    Oh dear, he best get to Uni (which must be a term down under). I love love chicken salad sandwiches. Two ingredients stood out for me. Shallots and chives, so I will try these.

  5. spiceandmore permalink
    October 14, 2011 1:51 am

    Gulp! I am dreading the teenage years. Good thing you had those prescription drugs in the system before you heard that news. Very sweet of him to serenade you though! 🙂

  6. October 14, 2011 2:35 am

    Sensational recipe – I always poach chicken when I’m making a chicken soup!

  7. October 14, 2011 3:15 am

    Awww poor you. I mean, your boy would have expressed everything he thought with best intentions and not to horrify the drugged you.
    Hope you are feeling better now.
    The decent chicken sandwich that costs way less than what it would in a restaurant, is right up my alley.
    Beautiful blog. Beautiful writing. Such a joy.

  8. October 14, 2011 3:29 am

    Oh, I’m a good few years off those sort of coversations with my kids but they already scare the pants off me.
    …he does have a point though, it would be better to be doing that sort thing now than as a 35 year old wouldn’t it??

  9. October 14, 2011 5:43 am

    I’ve always seen chicken sandwiches with pecans or walnuts, but no doubt the pinenuts would be something different. My mouth is watering just thinking about eating it.

  10. October 14, 2011 8:59 am

    Haha I love your stories! And no you don’t have to do it when you’re young but somehow it seems less embarrassing than a mid life crisis. Imagine if he did this when he was 50? 😛

  11. October 14, 2011 5:43 pm

    Yeah, a chicken salad is as good as the chicken that goes into it 🙂 Your chicken salad sandwiches look wonderful!

  12. October 14, 2011 8:50 pm

    I am feeling your pain! Kids just have that knack of pushing buttons at the worst possible time… its like a gift they are given at birth 🙂

    I think you handled it well though. Alternatively you could always put him on a stage in a pub somewhere with his guitar and bells, uni might look more attractive. (or am I just being evil…)

    Gorgeous sandwiches, I might have to borrow that recipe for my Melbourne Cup lunch 🙂

  13. October 14, 2011 9:16 pm

    You’re looking at this the wrong way honey, if Role Harris can make a career out of a wobble board, why can’t Archie do the same with some jingle bells? I think you should encourage him by booking him a gig at a local club- then stand by with the tissues, some hugs,and ego soothing words such as ‘no true artists are appreciated in their own time’ By the next week, he’ll be filling out his own uni applications! 🙂 Good luck, and hope you feel better soon.

  14. October 15, 2011 1:48 am

    wow…sounds scrumptiously tasty..
    first time here…love your space..
    very interesting posts with excellent cliks..
    Am your happy follower now..;)
    do stop by mine sometime.
    Tasty Appetite

  15. October 15, 2011 3:15 pm

    Haha-There have been MANY times, (during my daughter’s teenage years) I would have loved being in a “drug induced” state. Who am I kidding? Now that she’s 22 and out on her own….there are still those times : )

    Your sandwiches look super yummy!

    p.s. Thanks for visiting me!!

  16. October 16, 2011 1:38 am

    I haven’t made chicken sandwiches in ages! Great idea to put the pinenuts in – adds the perfect nutty crunch to a bite. Thanks for sharing!

  17. October 16, 2011 3:09 am

    OMG, just when I was imagining mine would grow out of it by year 12. Perhaps our sons could join forces, at least travelling around Australia and gigging in pubs is a kind of work plan……. which is much better than being a professional face book participant. Go the chicken sandwiches, one of my favourites ( and such good travelling food)

  18. October 16, 2011 4:20 am

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog — always fun to get to know new people. Love the way you quickly got busy filling out your son’s university applications 🙂

  19. October 16, 2011 4:22 am

    Oops — linked to the wrong site with my name! Sorry. I’ve got it right this time! 🙂

  20. October 16, 2011 10:42 am

    Just discovered your blog, really enjoy reading your stories. The blog is making you famous and soon the publisher should accept your manuscript. BTW, I have never seen poached chicken sandwich, I thought I would see a hot and spicy dish!

  21. October 16, 2011 11:00 pm

    Maybe in your drug-induced state you imagined the whole thing? Maybe the jingle-shoes was just post-operative ringing in your ears? 😉

    If he does put the band together, you could be the sort of mum who heads out at 3am and feeds them magnificent chicken sandwiches after a gig.. 🙂

  22. October 16, 2011 11:58 pm

    I wish my mum had filled in my applications for me and made me poached chicken sandwiches too. You’re amazing 🙂

  23. October 17, 2011 12:26 am

    I’ve just discovered your blog today, I love your blog photo! Sooo funny! And your medical woes… son issues, well, let’s just say I can relate! These are tough years aren’t they!!??

  24. October 17, 2011 7:55 am

    Drugs can sometimes help – aye carumba, maybe that’s why he sprung it on you at that moment. Melbourne Cup and chicken sandwiches are a perfect combination – these look delish.

  25. October 17, 2011 10:38 am

    Oooo fancy sandwiches! No crusts! I do not eat bread, but I really want these sandwiches. Looks delicious.
    I like that the cost is cheaper than a cafe. Sandwiches in cafes are so expensive. I wonder how much a vegetmite sandwich at a school canteen costs these days.

  26. October 17, 2011 10:54 am

    Hehe, too funny, but I understand your shock! I would be too and worried. Hopefully it’s just a faze and Archie thinks better of it. Hope you are feeling better after your medical procedure too. Your chicken sandwiches look delicious and healthy. yum!

  27. October 17, 2011 2:19 pm

    Archie sounds like my son. We let him choose his own path. He did go to Uni and he did formed his band. He had a day job and pursue his music playing gigs at weekend events and pubs. Their most recent achievement is, their band got to open for the famous American Rock band Incubus who has a concert in Malaysia. They performed in front of a crowd of 8000 Incubus fan! In December, his band will launch their first album. We wish that he has gone to UNI but then again, will he be happy? We don’t know but I know for sure, he might be slogging financially but he is happy now:D I think your son had a point there, you can only do these things when you are young and have no commitment. Your sandwich looks very delicious and hope you are feeling better now.

  28. October 17, 2011 6:25 pm

    that sounds just delish!!


  29. October 17, 2011 8:43 pm

    You are SO funny…and the chicken sandwiches look delicious…especially when you have celery in it…yummie!
    Hope you have a great week and good luck on your son’s applications 🙂

    • October 17, 2011 9:27 pm

      Oh, thanks Juliana. I’ll let you know when I’ve (I mean ‘he’s’) been accepted into Uni.

  30. October 17, 2011 8:49 pm

    oooooh how very delightful!! Love the addition of pinenuts!

  31. October 18, 2011 12:56 am

    A good chicken sandwich is never to be underestimated! And this one looks delish 🙂

  32. October 18, 2011 3:31 am

    I’m sorry to hear about the medical procedure; I hope whatever it was for never ever troubles you again, and that you’re soon back to dancing-fighting-fit-spectacular!

    As someone from the Gap Year generation (in the sense that it was the norm for my cohort), I might tentatively suggest that one year truly doesn’t matter. Of about twenty friends in my particular year 12 friendship cohort, only about two of us (me included) went straight into uni. And, to be honest, we’re both the ones who were feeling burnt out a few years in, although this was partly to do with him doing law and me doing a degree that required me to keep an HD average. The majority of my friends took gap years, and for most it simply helped them figure out what they actually wanted to study. But that’s just my two cents 🙂

    • October 18, 2011 3:56 am

      Thanks for that. Like you, I just went straight into studying. I look back now on all those who took time out to ‘discover themselves’ a little enviously. If I had my time over again – I’d join them. But…by the way…my Archie is ON a gap year! He’s been traipsing all over London and New York but is now back with all his instruments. My frustration is that now he wants ANOTHER GAP YEAR. Perhaps that is the norm for his generation???

      • October 18, 2011 4:12 am

        Oh, I’m sorry! I feel awful for not having taken that part in. Please forgive me; there hasn’t been much sleep occurring for my brain this past month, and information keeps trickling out 😛 I must say that not many of my friends took two gap years, but I do understanding returning from New York and not wanting to go back to serious life 😛

  33. October 18, 2011 7:56 am

    We appear to be in similar stages of life. My dearest only son has just booked himself on a Contiki tour for next year. He seems to think that he has convinced us that it will be an educational tour. He doesn’t know we invented them!

  34. October 18, 2011 10:52 am

    I would have needed more than drugs! Maybe a few sandwiches. I love a good chicken salad and this looks divine!

  35. October 22, 2011 6:38 am

    Add some crushed pine nuts to the chicken sandwich and you have a winner

  36. October 22, 2011 12:48 pm

    I’m so glad my brother didn’t do the same thing as Archie, he’s doing full time music at Uni now. Maybe you should tell Archie to do a music degree or something instead of traveling around Australia, this might actually get him better jobs if he really wants to be a musician 😀

    I love chicken sandwiches! I always pick them out of the rest when I have work functions, but your version looks so much better!

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