Le sandwich pour les gens pas compliqués – Sandwich aux boulettes de poulet épicé et herbes

One day I was challenged and told that I am incapable to do simple things, all I do is complicated (maybe that matches my complicated mind as well, since I am known to be une fille assez compliquée!) so I did not like that statement too much and decided to make something simple that I don’t really eat, because I am staying away from meat and lots of white bread, so I prepared it for some friends who came to visit…who are quite traditional and quite French, and of course meat eaters. Vous voulez du simple? hein? ben voilà des sandwiches!!!

When I cook for the French, I don’t have to worry about the health issue, they have a tendency to lean towards heavier meals. I just want to clarify maybe one misconception about the French, they don’t eat light food, well my friends don’t and most French I know don’t (overweight problem in France is becoming an issue)….and the Friday night steak and Fries with extra fries and extra sauce at Café Bastille is the living proof of my statement! Now I know there IS a new generation of people, foodies and chefs promoting a new cuisine using less grease and more fresh ingredients, emphasizing of natural flavors and preservation of nutriments. But overall people tend to be quite traditional in their eating habits.

There is a new sandwich place in San Francisco called Ike’s Place, and I have been driving by almost every day, the line of people on the sidewalk waiting to get served is insane, never seen something like that here, feels like Russia during the bad years. I am just wondering how this could be possible, waiting one hour in line for a sandwich? I never wait for an hour not even not even for my favorite restaurant, so it seems like sandwiches are more popular than ever…well Ike’s Place for sure is.

If you are in the mood for some fancy and delightful chicken sandwich try this one…the patties are mixed with herbs and spices topped with melting cheese, peppery arugula and an avocado sauce! Watch out Ike! I might be complicated but I make great sandwiches!

Ingredients for 4 sandwiches

  • Flat bread or also called “pain rustique”, or herb focaccia

For the spread

  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tbs red onion finely chopped
  • 1/3 tsp. chili flakes
  • salt and pepper

Sandwich ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 16 slices pancetta
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp oregano, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp basil, finely chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 12 garlic stuffed green olives
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, sliced
  • 2 heirloom tomato, sliced
  • 2 cups arugula
  • salt and pepper


For the spread: Peel avocado and remove the kernel. Crush avocado with a potato masher.  Add curry powder, lemon juice, onions, chili, salt and pepper. Mix well and place in the refrigerator until use.
For the patties:  In a mixing container, mix ground chicken with garlic, parsley, oregano, basil, lemon zest, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix well to obtain a smooth consistency paste. Make 2.3 oz (or 6 cm) diameter patties and 0.4 inches thick.
Grill pancetta until golden brown on both sides.
Grill on a grill pan for about five minutes on both sides. Two minutes before removing from grill add Fontina cheese and cover with a lid to enable the cheese to melt. Remove when the cheese has melted but before it starts liquefying.
Grill bread on both sides on a grill pan, or regular grill. Add 1 tbs avocado spread on each slice of bread. Add arugula, tomatoes then add patties. Top with  jalapeno peppers, sliced garlic green olives and capers.