Sandwich Week 1: Welcome back to Recipe Lab, and do I have some great ones for you this time.
Starting off, I’ve got a great orange and soy chicken submarine sandwich that tastes better than any sandwich a certain chain store can provide. I’ve wanted to make orange chicken for the longest time, and I’ve surrounded it with some nice flavours.
Almost everything in this recipe is home-made. You can obviously use pre-made things as well – look below for details.
Before I talk more about the dish, and customizations, here’s the recipe (serves 2-4).
Orange and Soy Chicken Sub
Sandwich Loaf (2 sandwich loaves)
|Plain flour||4 cups||~800g||Use bread flour for a better product.|
|Water||~1 1/2 cups||~350ml|
|Active Dry Yeast||1 tbsp||~15g|
|Honey||1-2 tbsp||~15-30g||Depends on how sweet the bread.|
|Spices||1/2 tsp each||~2g each||Optional. I didn’t add any for this one.|
Orange and Soy Chicken
|Chicken breast||2||300g||Cut up into bite-sized pieces.|
|Orange||1||Zest and juice the orange.|
|Soy Sauce||2 tbsp||30ml|
|Garlic||2 cloves||Or 1 tbsp of paste.|
|Red chillies||2||Or 1 tbsp of hot sauce.|
|Sugar||1 tsp||Just for a little extra sweetness.|
|Cheese of choice||Spread/Slice. I used mint versions of both.|
|Mayonnaise||I made my own, of course.|
|Hot Sauce||I made my own.|
|Lettuce leaves||I used both lettuce and chinese cabbage.|
|Potato chips||I made my own. Get Lays instead.|
- Sift the flour twice. This is important to get a fluffy bread.
- Warm the water to about body temperature. Should only need about 10 seconds on a high flame. Take 1/2 of the water and mix the yeast and sugar in. Let sit till it foams up.
The yeast feeds on the sugar. Keep salt away from the yeast.
- Add the yeasty water, oil, honey, and salt into the sifted flour. If using any ground spices, also add them in.
- Knead the flour into a dough. Add more water if it seems too dry but be careful not to make a gloopy dough. Only add water if the dough doesn’t come together. Knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Tuck the dough inwards to form a mound and put it in a big bowl. Cover with a moist towel to keep dust and bugs out and let it sit in a warm place for an hour. It will nearly triple in size. This is called ‘proving the dough’.
- Grease 2 bread tins with butter or oil. Take your proved dough and knock it back with your fingers to deflate it.
- Cut the dough in half. Take each one and work it into a mound and lay it in a bread tin. Stretch it out into the corners.If you want a thin loaf for a sub, make the dough only about as thick as your palm. Let prove another half hour. If you want a big bloomer loaf then let your dough mound be thick and prove a full hour.
- Bake at 350°F (~175°C) for 30-35 minutes. If you don’t want the top of the bread to brown too much on the top, cover with aluminium foil for the last 10 minutes out of 35.
- Carefully prise the loaf out of the tin and let it cool. Keep it on a wire rack or across the tin to allow cooling from both the top and bottom. Cool at least 10 minutes. When you tap the top or bottom of the loaf, it’ll sound hollow if it’s fluffy.
- Take a ziplock bag or a food container and make a marinade for the chicken.
Put in the orange juice, zest, soy sauce, garlic, chillies, salt, sugar and give it a good stir.
- If you’ve already cut up the chicken breasts, put them in the marinade. If not, make some cuts into the chicken so the marinade can get access to more meat, and let it marinate.
The longer you leave it in, the better. I left it in the fridge while I let the bread prove.
- After it is done marinating, heat up a pan with a little oil (Non stick will cut a lot of hassle).
- Take the pieces out of the marinade (cut it up if you hadn’t earlier), and carefully put them into the oil away from you.
- Toss and let the chicken cook on a high flame. As it starts drying, add the marinade to the pan, a couple of teaspoons at a time. Let the marinade also cook down into a thick syrup. Once you’re out of marinade, turn down the flame and gently toss the chicken around to finish out cooking.
- If you don’t think the chicken is cooked, you can finish it off in the oven for 5 minutes. I didn’t bother.
- Cut your bread. I used my thin loaf, as you can see in the pictures, and cut it lengthwise.
- Smear a spoon of hot sauce into the base. I made my own, and I’ll post the recipe if you want (leave a comment). Use Sriracha if you can get your hands on it.
- Add layers, in order – lettuce/cabbage, mayo, orange chicken, cheese slices (mint for mine), lettuce, potato chips.
- Take your top half and smear some cheese spread on it (or if you’re not using spread, add a cheese slice or some mayo).
- Close the sandwich, and serve with your beverage of choice. You could also serve fries, chips, or a coleslaw on the side.
This sandwich is delicious. You get sweetness from the chicken, fresh lettuce, crunch from the chips, spice from the hot sauce – it’s quite balanced.
It might seem difficult, but the only real investment is time. The effort is minimal, especially if you use pre-made mayo, hot sauce, chips etc. Only assemble, and enjoy.
Customizations: You could also toast the bread in the pan for added crunch. Add white sesame seeds to the chicken when in the pan for true orange chicken goodness. Add Chinese five spice to regular cheese and skip lettuce entirely for Chinese cabbage to get a more consistent thematic flavour. If you have customization ideas, tell me in the comments.
Thank you for checking out #RecipeLab and Sandwich Week 1! If you like this recipe, leave me a comment below telling me about the recipe and your preferences. There are more recipes in Sandwich Week – check back on the Navigation Post Right Here to see the other recipes, or check out the Cooking category in the Library to see what else I have. 🙂