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Author Notes: I am the daughter of...frankly...a terrible cook. My father calls my mother a religious cook, because everything she makes is either a burnt offering or a sacrifice. But once I moved out of their house and started feeding myself, I quickly realized how expensive take out food really is. So I faced my fears and went into the kitchen. This is the recipe that stared it all. Before this I pretty much used my oven as storage for my pristine pots and pans. I call it “Sparky’s Special”, because whenever I make it for my boyfriend Sparky, he treats me special!
Makes: 20 dinner roll sized sandwiches
dinner roll sized ciabatta rolls
bone in chicken thighs with skin
pound thick cut bacon
pound crumbled gorgonzola cheese
pound crumbled bleu cheese
pound cremini mushrooms
medium red onions
cups half and half
sticks plus 2 tbl. salted butter
pinches salt, pepper, and nutmeg
- On a foil lined baking sheet, rub chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake @ 425 for 1 hour or until juices run clear. Set aside to cool.
- In the same oven, place the bacon on a foil covered cookie sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning once 1/2 way through. When bacon is done, set on a paper towel to drain. Then cut each slice into 3 even pieces.
- Thinly slice the onions and mushrooms. Using ½ the rendered chicken fat, cook the onions over a medium low heat until they are caramel in color, but not burned or crunchy. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside
- Using the remaining chicken fat, cook the mushrooms over a medium heat until they are soft. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Set a large saucepan over medium heat and add flour and 2 tbl. butter. Cook for a few minutes until they combine and become a light amber color. Yay! You’ve made roux! Add the ½ and ½. Once the mixture comes up to temperature and begins to thicken, add the crumbled Gorgonzola and Bleu cheeses about a handful at a time. Stir constantly. Don’t add more until what you’ve already added is melted. Once the cheese is melted, add salt and pepper to taste. Add about ½ teaspoon of nutmeg. Turn off the heat and cover the pot.
- Remove the chicken skin and set aside (in your mouth. Come on, you know you want to. It’s the yummiest part of the bird). Shred the chicken with your hands and add to the cheese sauce.
- Slice the rolls very low. Then, with your fingers, remove most of the bread from inside the top of the roll. Inside the hollowed roll tops place 2 or 3 mushroom slices, about ¼ tsp. of onions, 1 piece of bacon, and a generous scoop of the chicken/gorgonzola sauce. Top with a slice of each of the remaining cheeses and put the bottom back on the sandwich. The top and bottom of the roll should meet.
- Over medium heat, melt 1 stick of butter in a pan and add ½ the sandwiches. Cover with a piece of foil and lay a cast iron skillet on top. When the bottoms of the sandwiches are browned, flip them and brown the other side. Repeat this process for the remaining sandwiches.
- Garnish with a bacon wrapped date, and serve with your favorite milkshake.