Scrumptious chicken sandwich that comes from El Salvador
Gerson Villita, former owner of El Sombrero Mexican Restaurant in Cranberry, shares a hometown Panes con Pollo (chicken sandwich) from his childhood.
It is a meal in a bun.
Growing up in El Salvador, the end of the year was the most exciting time when preparation for big family gatherings were a celebration in itself. Neighbors and family alike would visit house-to-house, and at the top of the menu was Panes con Pollo.
Chicken was raised in every household, and this was the time to show them off. These tender sandwiches were finished off with fresh ingredients and fresh bread. Toppings were boiled eggs, sliced radishes, cucumbers, beets, lettuce, all finished off with a special sauce that completed the well-known Panes con Pollo.
Panes Con Pollo
(makes eight servings)
3 chicken legs
1 small onion, chopped
1 small pepper, diced
3 small tomatoes, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery leaves, chopped
2 medium potatoes, cut in cubes
2 medium carrots, cubed,
1/3 cup mustard, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon cumin,
2 eggs, sliced
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 can of beets, thinly sliced
1 head of lettuce shredded.
¾ cup mustard (1/3 used in marinade)
½ cup mayo
fresh bread or sausage bun
Pierce the chicken legs with a fork. Marinade the chicken 30 minutes, then discard the marinade.
In a medium-sized cooking pan, add oil and turn to medium-high heat. Cook the chicken on each side for 3-5 minutes until crisp and set aside. In same pan, add garlic, onions, tomatoes, green pepper, celery leaves and sauté for 3 minutes, softening the veggies. Remove and add to a blender. Add 1 teaspoon chicken flavor, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and blend together.
In a pot, add the chicken legs, potatoes, carrots and our the blended sauce overtop.Cook for 15-20 minutes over medium heat or until chicken is tender.
Remove potatoes and carrots. Dice to add to the sandwich, or can set aside or discard. This is optional.
Shred the cooked chicken and add back into the sauce. Simmer until well blended.
Mix remaining mustard and mayonnaise
To assemble the sandwich, split the bun, spreading the mayo mixture on both sides of bun.Fill with shredded chicken, top with eggs, cucumber, radishes, beets and lettuce. Top with more sauce if desired.