Cajun Chicken Sandwiches with Quick Pickles & Arugula Salad

Cajun Chicken Sandwiches

with Quick Pickles & Arugula Salad

50 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight, we’re seasoning tender chicken with a smoky, zesty blend of traditional Cajun spices, and topping it with tangy-sweet quick pickles and slaw for welcome crunch. We’re making the pickling liquid by combining vinegar, sugar, and salt on the stove, and pouring it over thin-sliced cucumber—for perfectly balanced flavor. On the side, a salad of peppery arugula and radishes, dressed with a bit of the pickling liquid, rounds it all out on a refreshing note.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    650 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the rolls. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds; place in a medium heatproof bowl. Cut out and discard the cabbage core; thinly slice the leaves. Peel and roughly chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Cut off and discard the ends of the radishes. Cut the radishes into equal-sized wedges.

Make the pickles:
2 Make the pickles:

In a small pot, combine half the vinegar, half the sugar, a pinch of salt, and ½ cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the sugar has dissolved. Carefully pour into the bowl of cucumber. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the slaw:
3 Make the slaw:

While the pickles cool, in a large bowl, combine the cabbage, remaining sugar, remaining vinegar, ¼ of the spice blend, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and as much of the garlic paste as you'd like. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the chicken:
4 Cook the chicken:

While the slaw marinates, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper, and the remaining spice blend. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add half the seasoned chicken and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Turn off the heat and carefully wipe out the pan. In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the remaining seasoned chicken and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to the plate with the first batch of cooked chicken.

Toast the rolls & assemble the sandwiches:
5 Toast the rolls & assemble the sandwiches:

While the chicken cooks, place the rolls on a sheet pan, cut side up; drizzle with olive oil. Toast in the oven 4 to 6 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Spread a layer of the creamy mustard sauce onto the cut sides of the toasted rolls. Top the roll bottoms with the cooked chicken, pickles (reserving the pickling liquid), and slaw. Complete the sandwiches with the roll tops. Cut each sandwich in half on an angle.

Make the salad & serve your dish:
6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the arugula and radishes; season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the reserved pickling liquid to coat the salad (you may have extra liquid); toss to thoroughly combine. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the sandwiches and salad among 4 dishes. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the rolls. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds; place in a medium heatproof bowl. Cut out and discard the cabbage core; thinly slice the leaves. Peel and roughly chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Cut off and discard the ends of the radishes. Cut the radishes into equal-sized wedges.

2 Make the pickles:

In a small pot, combine half the vinegar, half the sugar, a pinch of salt, and ½ cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the sugar has dissolved. Carefully pour into the bowl of cucumber. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the pickles:
Make the slaw:
3 Make the slaw:

While the pickles cool, in a large bowl, combine the cabbage, remaining sugar, remaining vinegar, ¼ of the spice blend, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and as much of the garlic paste as you'd like. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Cook the chicken:

While the slaw marinates, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper, and the remaining spice blend. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add half the seasoned chicken and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Turn off the heat and carefully wipe out the pan. In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the remaining seasoned chicken and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to the plate with the first batch of cooked chicken.

Cook the chicken:
Toast the rolls & assemble the sandwiches:
5 Toast the rolls & assemble the sandwiches:

While the chicken cooks, place the rolls on a sheet pan, cut side up; drizzle with olive oil. Toast in the oven 4 to 6 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Spread a layer of the creamy mustard sauce onto the cut sides of the toasted rolls. Top the roll bottoms with the cooked chicken, pickles (reserving the pickling liquid), and slaw. Complete the sandwiches with the roll tops. Cut each sandwich in half on an angle.

6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the arugula and radishes; season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the reserved pickling liquid to coat the salad (you may have extra liquid); toss to thoroughly combine. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the sandwiches and salad among 4 dishes. Enjoy!

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