Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Vegan BBQ Chicken and Avocado on Crispy Garlic Butter Ciabatta

Vegan BBQ Chicken and Avocado on Crispy Garlic Butter Ciabatta Bread.

Now, I'm going to have to ask you to ignore that the BBQ "chicken" there looks a little bit like steak tartare as this was an absolutely gorgeous sandwich!! (I've tried to "pretty it up" as best I could!) But seriously, saucy BBQ vegan chicken on top of 'buttery' garlic ciabatta with creamy avocado and crisp's a stunning sandwich taste wise ;-)

Naturally the snow, ice, frost and freezing weather had me craving summery food :-/ I'm kidding of course but I have decided there is no point blogging "seasonally" - as it was rightfully pointed out to me, some of my readers are currently sweltering in summer heat right now anyway! Although, in a weird way so am I.... 

You see our house has large south facing triple glazed eco windows and they are VERY efficient  When it's sunny, my kitchen and living room can get up to 26C even if it's snowing and freezing outside without ANY heating on. It's great! Yesterday was just such a day - frosty outside but brilliant sunshine. So, I sat there in my hot kitchen, eating this rather summery dish and sipping iced tea with the windows open and in short sleeves.... I swear my brain must get temperature confused sometimes!

Vegan BBQ Chicken and Avocado on Crispy Garlic Butter Ciabatta Bread.

Anyway, I'm not entirely sure where I originally got the inspiration for this sandwich. I feel I must have seen a meat version while scrolling through Pinterest and thought, hmmm, that would be nice all vegan'd up! I then searched around and found this one on the Baked Bree Blog and knew right away I would base mine on hers. 

First of all it's a stunning blog, the type that gives you pangs of blog jealousy! But crucially, she made hers exactly as I was thinking of making mine - with crispy ciabatta garlic bread - and OMG that makes this sandwich!! I just used my usual garlic bread spread recipe here and added slices of avocado and shredded iceburg lettuce. 

Personally I think the avocado is rather essential, it just goes perfectly with the slightly spicy BBQ sauce and garlic butter. As for the BBQ sauce, just use any vegan store bought one you like. I could have gone a bit fancier with one of those posher kinds you can buy now but I just went common as muck and used plain old Heinz BBQ sauce - with a dash of cayenne to give it a little kick ;-)

I couldn't decide what type of salad to have on the side of this but in the end I was just too swayed by her blog post and also did a cucumber and red onion type salad. I based mine on those vinegary Scandinavian type cucumber salads as I always loved them growing up. It's just thinly slices cucumber and red onion in a marinade of white wine vinegar, sugar, salt, water and fresh dill. It was really good but I think when I make this again I would make my Kohl-Slaw to go on the side. Vegan BBQ Chicken Rolls and Coleslaw? yes please!!! Oh, and don't forget the iced tea ;-)

Some Recipe Notes

♥ I used a 5" long ciabatta roll BUT cut it in half, so my roll was about 2.5" x 2.5".  In hindsight this was a little small but the full size would have been too big. I certainly used to be able to buy ciabatta rolls that were square - they would be the perfect size. Anyway, depending on the size of the ciabatta roll you use you may need to double the chicken filling and garlic butter.
♥ As mentioned above I just used plain Heinz BBQ sauce here but added a pinch of cayenne pepper.
♥ I used Fry's brand Vegan Chicken Style Pieces. As they come frozen you'll have to defrost them first. I just placed mine in a bowl and left them out for about an hour, then kept them covered in the fridge until I was ready to use them.

Vegan BBQ Chicken and Avocado on Crispy Garlic Butter Ciabatta Bread.

Vegan BBQ Chicken & Avocado on Crispy Garlic Butter Ciabatta Bread

Yields 1 sandwich

• 1 Ciabatta Roll
• 15g vegan butter (1 Tbsp)
• 1 smallish clove of garlic, pureed
• pinch of salt, I used smoked
• some finely chopped fresh parsley (or dried)
• 30g vegan chicken strips, defrosted.
• 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce
• pinch of cayenne pepper - optional
• slices of avocado
• shredded iceburg lettuce

First make your garlic butter: Simply mix together the butter, garlic, tiny pinch of salt and the parsley (just add enough parsley that it looks nice and speckled). Split open the ciabatta roll and spread both sides with the garlic butter:

Preheat your oven to 200C / 400F. While it's heating up slice up the vegan chicken strips as thinly as you can:

Place the ciabatta on a baking sheet and bake for 7 - 10 minutes. You want the butter to be melted and bubbly and the ciabatta to be lightly golden and crisp around the edges. While they are cooking slice up your avocado and finely chop the lettuce into small strips. 

In a small saucepan add the BBQ sauce and the "shredded chicken" and heat, stirring now and again until it comes to a simmer. I didn't notice how long mine was on the heat here - no more than 5 minutes. If the sauce starts to stick the bottom of the pan you are done, just take it off the heat.

Now simply pile the BBQ chicken onto one side on the roll and the lettuce and avocado on the other. I also added a tiny splash of hot water to the saucepan I cooked the chicken in and stirred and scraped the pan with a spatula to get some of the cooked on sauce off and spooned a tiny bit of this over top of the chicken, just to make it a little more saucy ;-)

Carefully sandwich this baby together and enjoy! Oh, one more're going to get messy. Don't avoid it just grab a stack of napkins. As well as sitting in my hot kitchen in short sleeves in the winter I was also sitting there with BBQ sauce all down my face and all over my hands. Embrace it. It's ok!! Just don't make these for a date ;-)

Vegan BBQ Chicken and Avocado on Crispy Garlic Butter Ciabatta Bread.

Nutritional Information: will vary depending on size of roll used.

Calories: 361
Protein: 12.6g
Fat: 22.8g
Sat Fat: 5.5g
Fibre: 5.6g
Carbs: 30.4g
Sugar: 1g

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  1. My mind couldn’t be further from the thought of summer food, but now I’m totally craving something slathered in BBQ sauce. I love the garlic bread idea, I think I’d like to try these with fried soy curls since I seem to have an abundance of them.

  2. Thanks for the comments! I've always wanted to try soy curls but have NEVER seen them on sale, either here or when I lived in England.