- 2 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock or packaged low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 5 sprigs fresh cilantro, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
- 4 green onions: 2 smashed and 2 finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 1 cup mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons dried currants
- 16 slices dark pumpernickel bread
- 1 cup Major Grey’s Chutney, or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
- 3 ounces baby spinach leaves, rinsed and spun dry
Combine the chicken, stock, wine, cilantro sprigs, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, the garlic, peppercorns, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the smashed green onions in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the chicken to cool in the poaching liquid for 45 minutes. Then remove the chicken from the liquid and set it aside until completely cool. Strain the poaching liquid and reserve it for another purpose if desired. Discard the solids.
Cut the chicken into small dice. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, chopped cilantro, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, chopped green onions, celery, mayonnaise, curry powder, cayenne, golden raisins, and currants, and stir to blend well. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Chill the chicken salad, covered, for at least 2 hours and up to several days in advance.
To assemble: Spread one side of each piece of bread with about 1 tablespoon of the chutney. Place about 1/2 cup of the chicken salad over each of 8 slices. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Divide the spinach among the sandwiches, and top with the remaining 8 slices of bread. Halve the sandwiches and serve immediately, or wrap them in plastic wrap and store them up to overnight, refrigerated, until ready to serve.