I used to make club sandwiches all the time when I worked in a pub in Kent in my early twenties. Done well, this can be an absolute gem, but done badly it can be bland. The most important thing is the care you put into making one.
My top tip would be to use the best quality of each ingredient – and make your own mayonnaise. Also, my twist would be basil mayonnaise and sliced avocado. The basil adds a welcome freshness to the mayo and the avocado will give a creamy texture to the sandwich. As an optional extra, I brush the bacon with maple syrup for extra sweetness – the fat from that with the lean poached chicken works perfectly.
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For the mayonnaise:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Small handful of basil leaves
½ tsp garlic powder
150ml mild olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper
For the sandwich:
3-4 slices of thick-cut, streaky, smoked bacon
1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
2 slices of sourdough
Butter for spreading
1 poached chicken breast (skin removed)
Half an avocado, sliced
3 Little Gem lettuce leaves
2 slices beef tomato
Salted crisps to serve
Make sure all the ingredients for the mayo are at room temperature, then combine the egg yolk, mustard, basil and garlic powder in a food processor and mix until they form a paste. With the processor still running, gently pour in the oil.
Once emulsified, add the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix again then refrigerate.
Grill the bacon to your liking, brushing with the maple syrup if desired, and return to the grill to crisp up a little.
Butter the bread on both sides, slice the chicken and lay it onto one of the pieces of bread. Next, add the bacon slices, avocado, lettuce and tomato, seasoning the avocado and tomato.
Spread the basil mayo onto the remaining slice of bread then close the sandwich together.
Put a knob of butter into a frying pan on a medium heat, then lay the sandwich in and cook for around three minutes until golden and crispy. Add another knob of butter and repeat with the other side.
Remove from the pan, slice in half and serve with salted crisps – enjoy!