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Tastes & Travels

Xawaash-Spiced Grilled Chicken Sandwich

So here’s a chicken sandwich with a twist. I rub the cutlets with the warm and earthy Somali spice blend, Xawaash. I layer the grilled cutlets with mayo, crunchy cucumber and herbs and sliced jalapeno for heat. Wrap this sandwich up and take it along on your next picnic, you won’t be sorry.

Xawaash-Spiced Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Serves 4

  • 1 pound thin sliced chicken breast cutlets
  • 1 tablespoon Xawaash Spice Mix
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 (20 to 24 inch long) baguette, split and cut into 4 segments
  • 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh mint and/or cilantro leaves
  • Sliced fresh or pickled jalapeno, optional 
  1. Put the chicken breast cutlets in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the xawaash and season with salt. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat the chicken in the spices. Let sit at room temperature while you preheat a grill to medium high heat. (You can also use a grill pan.) 
  2. Grill the chicken until well charred and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. To serve, slice the chicken against the grain. Spread half of the mayonnaise on the bottom pieces of the baguette. Layer the sliced cucumber over. Pile the sliced chicken on top. Top with the herbs and jalapeno, if using. Spread the remaining mayonnaise on the baguette tops, close the sandwiches and serve.

Xawaash Spice Mix

Makes about 1/2 cup 

  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons ground coriander 
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric 
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 
  1. Put all of the spices in a small skillet and stir to combine.
  2. Toast over medium low heat, stirring  occasionally, until lightly toasted and aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool.

The Xawaash will keep in a sealed container in your pantry for up to 2 months.

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