A chicken roasting incident inspired this culinary experiment.
My favorite way to roast chicken is inside a dutch oven with a steamer insert. It’s my favorite because it’s easy—pour in a little water, cover, start at 375°F for 45 minutes then finish uncovered at 425°F for another 30 minutes. I’ve had luck roasting chickens this way for a range of sizes from 3.5 to 5 pounds. We usually eat the thighs and drumsticks the night of and save everything else for another day.
Unfortunately, something went wrong the last time that I tried to do this with a frozen and thawed chicken, and my “easy roasting” method (that I did not invent; I think that I originally saw this on the Food Network) did not result in edible chicken. Doubly unfortunate, we were supposed to use the leftovers in sandwiches. Triply unfortunate, this happened early February 2015 in Boston, amidst record snowfall and frigid temperatures.
The next day, in the fridge, we had leftover pickled carrots and jicama, cilantro, and cucumbers from a cold noodles meal that we had intended to turn into bánh mì with the roasted chicken. We also had eggs and prosciutto, so, I decided to try an experiment by replacing the roasted chicken with a fried egg topped with prosciutto. We assembled the bánh mì as usual: Nathan made a French baguette with starter out of Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and I made spicy garlic aioli by heating red chili flakes and garlic in oil and mixing with mayo. After stacking everything together and taking a photograph for posterity, we learned that a fried egg with prosciutto makes an excellent bánh mì.