The classic and epic Club Sandwich recipe gets a deluxe makeover from chef Heston Blumenthal.
In the more lonely hours of my life one of my favourite hobbies is trying to track down rare or unusual Heston Blumenthal recipes. Often we’ll get an alert from friends (Gary Fenn of the always recommended BigSpud blog has been of particular help).
Sometimes we stumble across them completely by accident, like when we discovered the existence of the “hestonblumenthalteam” on Instagram. As well as having what seems to be my dream job these heroes also provide links and info on new Heston recipes – which is how we found out about “Dine at Home With Heston” a 40-dish collection available completely for free on iTunes.
So, with an avocado, two chicken breasts and half a loaf to use up it seemed like the perfect and very, very easy project to celebrate this new discovery with.
Recipes: Heston’s Club Sandwich recipe
Special Equipment: None
Special Ingredients: None
Time: 2-3 hours
Step 1: Sous Vide Chicken
Heston’s club sandwich recipe specifies some very lazy (and seemingly ineffectual) brining instructions. We’re using chicken breasts from the freezer – brined and bagged before they went in.
We can just put them straight in our Sansaire sous vide cooker and they’ll be ready in a couple of hours.
At that point you can cut the tender breast meat into nice thick slices, though you don’t need to loom over it casting an ominous shadow like I did.
Step 2: Crispy Bacon
To ensure really crispy bacon for his club sandwich recipe Heston suggests you roast it in the oven for just over a quarter of an hour.
Step 3: Sandwich Sauce
Heston very famously loves French’s mustard. It’s specifically requested for his Perfect Cheeseburger recipe, his Scotch Egg recipe and a few others too.
Here’s 50g of mustard is combined with 150g mayonnaise to make the sauce for Heston’s Perfect Club Sandwich recipe.
Step 4: Avocado
Here’s an ingredient we’re not used to associating with the classic Club sandwich recipe, but extra avocado is always a good thing.
Just like his Macaroni Cheese recipe and his Chicken with Sherry and Cream recipe Heston has an annoying habit of specifying tiny amounts of cheese for use in his recipes. Here it’s a mere 10g of goats cheese added to the avocado, along with 10g of lemon juice
Blitz these together very briefly with a hand blender, until half of the mixture is a puree and the rest rough chunks.
Step 5: Assembly
To assemble Heston’s Perfect Club Sandwich recipe the first thing you’ll want to do is to toast your bread – three slices per sandwich. Out of personal preference we are only toasting the outer two slices on one side.
Spread the mustard mayo on to this…
… then top with the bacon and lettuce.
You now want to add your middle slice of toasted bread, spread on both sides with tomato ketchup.
Build your second deck of sandwich by piling on the chicken breast, then spreading over the avocado and then finally some sliced tomato.
Add your top layer of toasted bread (spread inside with mustard-mayo) and your Heston Blumenthal Club Sandwich is complete.
The club sandwich is a great and marvellous thing, and Heston’s version is a fantastic example of it.
There’s aspects of it that, by now, we’ve come to expect from the Fat Duck chef, and some of these aren’t to our personal taste. We’d have liked more bacon, and added the sliced tomato to that layer to create a BLT half.
Also, French’s mustard is quite a powerful and specific flavour. Combined with the ketchup the sandwich ends up tasting a bit too much like a burger for us. Speaking of which, where’s the sliced cheese?! Or the sliced egg for that matter.
On the plus side, the avocado is a marvellous addition, with that lemon supplying a fresh zing that really lifts the sandwich, and the goats cheese adding a creamy, earthy depth of flavour. We’re big fans of roasting the bacon too, which gives you a thoroughly crispy texture to contrast the yielding sous vide chicken.
Minor quibbles aside; it’s been ages since we made a really good, indulgent club sandwich. This might not have been our perfect recipe, but we’re grateful to Heston Blumenthal and his team for giving us the perfect excuse to make it.
This experiment could lead to a lot more club sandwiches happening in the near future. If so we’d:
- Add a slice of cheese to the bacon layer, and move the tomatoes there too
- Omit the ketchup
- Replace the French’s mustard with Dijon and wholegrain
Is this your perfect club sandwich, or what tips on making a club sandwich recipe would you offer. Tell us below.