Let’s hear it for Butcher Babe, the Southern chef who treats meat like the belle of the ball. Fusing classic French technique with the bountiful larder of the American South (and a heavy-handed dose of rebellion), Loreal Gavin’s cookbook is a pleasure to read and cook your way through. Fans of the BLT, unite for this crispy chicken skin, lettuce and tomato sandwich.
There are people in this world who don’t eat bacon or pork for one reason or another. Hopefully, those people happen to enjoy chicken. I created this sandwich for those people, because deep down I’m pretty sure they miss the bacon. If not, they can just enjoy a tomato and lettuce sandwich.
- 8 ounces raw chicken skin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 slices Texas toast
- 1 tomato, cut into thin slices and seasoned with salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 small head Iceberg lettuce, core removed
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 tablespons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, minced
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
For the sandwich
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Season the chicken skin with the salt and pepper and place it on a baking sheet that has been smeared with the olive oil. Bake the chicken skin in the oven until golden brown and crispy, usually about 15 to 20 minutes. Ironically enough, the chicken skin can be treated like bacon. There is a fine line between nice and crispy and burnt. Keep an eye on it.
To make the tarragon mayo, whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl until frothy. Slowly add the oil in a thin, steady stream, 1 tablespoon at a time. This process can be sped up quickly by using a food processor. Once the egg yolks and olive oil are emulsified, they will start to appear like a traditional store-bought mayo, except more delicious. Add the garlic, lemon juice and tarragon. Season the mayo with salt and pepper. This can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. The fresh tarragon, or any other fresh herb, for that matter, makes it a lot more perishable. Keep the mayo refrigerated until ready to use.
Once the chicken skin is done rendering, remove it from the baking sheet and place it on a paper towel. Take the Texas toast and smear each slice around on the baking sheet so that they soak up the residual chicken fat. This natural fat acts as a “butter” to toast the bread. Place the Texas toast on the baking sheet and return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the desired color is developed on the toast. Smear the tarragon mayo on both sides of the bread. Add a few slices of tomato and pieces of iceberg lettuce and top if off with a few pieces of chicken skin. You are now good to go.