My dish of choice at Earl's has been the Chicken, Brie and Fig Sandwich for years now. I literally have not tried another dish at Earl's since I've tried this one.
The other day I was inspired to try and recreate this culinary masterpiece on my own when I saw some Granny Smith's in the fridge. Only having access to one small grocery store for the summer, I had concerns that I wouldn't be able to pull this off. Luckily for me, I wasn't disappointed.
I started with this recipe which laid out the basic elements of the sandwich that I needed. I made two changes to the ingredients list - one for convenience and one for authenticity. Instead of cooking my own chicken, I decided to buy a nice hot roasted chicken from the grocery store. It was a good decision. Secondly, instead of just garlic mayonnaise, I made garlic aioli, using this recipe. Also, another good decision. I ended up baking my apples in tinfoil on the BBQ at 400 degrees for about 7 minutes to get them soft all the way through.
- roasted chicken breasts
- garlic aioli
- fig jam
- double creamy brie
- baby spinach
- ciabatta buns
- Granny Smith apples
One of the complaints I had about the recipe is that it is somewhat vague in terms of time and quantity of ingredients. However, in hindsight, I believe the author did this purposely so that you can add the ingredients the way you like them (ie: thick slabs of oozing brie). Next time, I think I'll cut my apple slices a bit thicker (about 1/8" slices) to help bring them out a bit more as well as add more spinach.
After assembling the sandwiches on my ciabatta-like buns, I rolled them in tinfoil and put them back onto the BBQ for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
Upon first bite, I was immediately taken back to that first time at Earl's. The interaction between the fig jam, apples and brie is utterly magical. I was floored that this sandwich could so easily be recreated without compromising a thing. The fact that I can now make it with my own proportions (ie: thicker slabs of oozing brie) in my own kitchen makes me think that I won't be going back to Earl's again anytime soon.