Traditionally, queso añejo cheese and bolillo rolls (Mexican bread that’s crisp on the outside and soft on the inside) are used, but for convenience, we’ve used fetta and Vietnamese baguettes.
60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
1 lime, zested, juiced, plus lime wedges, to serve
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chilli powder
4 (about 800 g) chicken breasts, trimmed
6 Vietnamese baguettes (see Note)
150 g fetta, crumbled
¼ cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp pickled jalapeño chillies
6 pickled onions, thinly sliced
50 g (about 2) dried chilli de arbol (see Note)
125 ml (½ cup) apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground cloves
1kg roma tomatoes, chopped
2 onions, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To marinate chicken, combine oil, lime zest and juice, oregano, chilli powder, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper in a bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove from fridge 15 minutes before cooking.
To make chilli sauce, soak chillies in 250 ml hot water for 30 minutes, then drain, reserving 125 ml soaking liquid. Process chillies, reserved liquid and remaining ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Season with ½ tsp salt. Makes 1⅓ cups.
Meanwhile, to make red sauce, place all ingredients in a saucepan and cover with 500 ml water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 25 minutes or until onions are tender. Drain, reserving 160ml cooking liquid. Process solids with reserved cooking liquid in a food processor until smooth. Season with 1 tsp salt. Makes 4 cups.
Heat a chargrill pan over medium–high heat. Add chicken and cook for 4 minutes each side or until cooked through. Cool slightly, then slice.
Heat red sauce and chilli sauce in a saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes or until warmed through.
Cut rolls in half horizontally. Spoon 2 tbsp sauce over bottom halves, top with fetta, sliced chicken, coriander and jalapeños. Spoon over a little more sauce and replace top halves of rolls.
Spoon 125 ml sauce onto each plate and place sandwiches on top. Divide remaining sauce over top of sandwiches, top with sliced pickled onions and serve with lime wedges.
• Vietnamese baguettes are available from Asian bakeries. Substitute other crusty white rolls.
• Chilli de arbol, is a long, red, hot Mexican chilli, related to the cayenne pepper. It’s available online from Monterey Mexican Foods. Substitute dried long red chillies.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 8, pg103.
Photography by John Laurie.