After nearly a solid fortnight of storms, the rain letting up makes getting off work a delightful treat. Exploring and getting to know a new neighborhood has always been a favorite pastime, and having a day to myself, I revert to my old habit of going on a walkabout McMinnville, OR as I was accustomed to doing in San Francisco, Chico, and London.
My wanderings quickly evolve into a mission, having previously discovered we are low on chicken stock. I steer myself down Baker Street, with Roth’s as my ultimate destination, thinking it would be a short jaunt down the 99W promenade. Passing the fire station and Hopscotch Toys, I half hope to find 221B, but the addresses jump as I meander past Alf’s Ice Cream and Burgers, El Primo Mexican Restaurant, a Great Harvest Bread Co, and a Tesoro gas station.
I have much more time to think than I had planned, and with fantasies of roast chicken dancing in my head, I find myself calculating the cornucopia of other goodies that would invariably come in the form of leftovers, like a chicken club sandwich.
The clouds seem to hold whatever precipitation they have left, maybe reserving it for the ski slopes of Mt Hood. As I make my way home with my treasure, I’m fleetingly disappointed the skies don’t burst, but forget that when I decide to walk through the Linfield College campus. It’s lovely diversity of architectural styles, bike “co-op,” and a little deli called O’Riley’s make the exploration worthwhile.
I’m not the only one braving the glorious pewter afternoon: runners and bicyclists stream along SE Davis, taking advantage of the brief dry spell. I ponder the sharply contrasting beauty of bungalows and greenways to the flat afternoon, finding them reminiscent of North Berkeley and the Avenues of Chico in late winter. A few raindrops tease me as I near Washington St., but they aren’t significant enough to warrant an umbrella.
Already salivating when I get home, I immediately rub the free-range bird ($1.89/lb) down with olive oil and spices. The afternoon swims by quickly, and while doing yardwork I plot the wonderful things I could do with the leftovers: cacciatore, chicken salad, burritos, and pasta recipes flood my mind. I laugh as I pull the chicken, plotting the soups, brines, risotto, steamed vegetables, and sauces the bubbling stock will provide. So enamored by all the possibilities, particularly the iminent chicken club, I almost forget to eat the quaintlittle dinner I had planned.
Making this the day after, my Chicken Club features Tillamook Cheddar:
While toasting two pieces of sourdough, slice 1/4 each Pink Lady Apple, and a red or green bell pepper. Also, shave a slice off a red onion. The veggies can be dressed with a dash of vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Spreading yogurt as a substitute for mayo on one slice of toast, I successfully experiment with adding a tsp of strawberry jam, since I don’t have any cranberry sauce. Pairing nicely, it adds a layer of sweetness to the creamy tartness of the yogurt.
Salt the apple slices and layer them with a slice of ham (bacon is another popular option), stacking them on the yogurt-dressed slice. Grate the cheddar over the ham (Swiss or Provolone would also be delightful).