If you had any doubt that an open-face sandwich is suitable and filling enough for dinner, this one will convince you. Besides the crisped bacon and quick-cooking chicken cutlets, you've got a hidden protein in the mash of chickpeas that is added to the avocado spread. It’s creamy, crunchy and tomato-juicy, all in one bite, especially when you toast those thick slices of bread.
As meaty as this sandwich is, at least one vegetarian friend has weighed in to say it could still work without the pork and poultry. So customization is an option.
When ultra-thin cuts of chicken are not available, a sharp knife can divide a boneless, skinless chicken breast into two or three thin pieces. We do not recommend using chicken tenders, which don't provide the sandwich coverage and good chew needed here.
For easiest eating, we recommend a knife and fork for this sandwich – or at least a judicious cut in half before you dig in.
Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Sandwiches
Adapted from "The Essential Diabetes Cookbook: Good Healthy Eating From Around the World," by Antony Worrall Thompson with Louise Blair (Kyle, 2010). We preferred the bread toasted; you can do this while the bacon's in the pan.
4 slices thick-cut bacon (5 ounces total)
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets (may substitute 2 chicken breast halves; see headnote)
7 ounces (half a can) no-salt-added chickpeas
Leaves from 2 stems fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro, plus a few sprigs for garnish
1 ripe avocado
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Crushed red pepper flakes
2 Campari or Kumato tomatoes
4 slices whole-grain or multigrain country-style bread (5 1/2 ounces total; see headnote)
Line a plate with paper towels. Cut each bacon slice crosswise in half. Arrange in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, until crisped. Drain on the plate.
Season the chicken lightly with salt and immediately place in the same pan; cook (medium heat) for about 3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then place in a mixing bowl. Coarsely chop the parsley or cilantro leaves; add to the bowl. Peel, pit the avocado; add to the same bowl, along with the cumin, a pinch each of the salt and crushed red pepper flakes, and the juice of the lime half. Use a potato masher or large fork to mash the mixture into a chunky paste. Taste, and add more salt and/or crushed red pepper flakes, as needed.
Cut the tomatoes into 1/4-inch slices, and season them lightly with salt. Let them sit for 5 minutes, then begin to build the sandwiches: Spread equal amounts of the avocado-chickpea mash on each piece of bread, then a few tomato slices. Next, the bacon and then the chicken. Top with parsley or cilantro sprigs.
Per serving: 450 calories, 26 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 23 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 470 mg sodium, 8 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar
Yield: 4 servings