Chicken Sandwich with Ancho Chile Mayonnaise

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

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4 whole chicken breasts, poached, skinned, boned, and shredded
4 dried ancho chiles
1 small onion, quartered
2 large garlic cloves
3 Tbs sherry wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups olive oil
fresh lime juice
6 sourdough French rolls
fresh cilantro


Soak chiles in hot water to cover overnight. In the morning, drain chiles, stem and seed them. Transfer to processor or blender. Add onion, garlic, and vinegar, and mix until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. With the machine running, add oil through the feed tube. Season the ancho paste with lime juice and salt to taste. (This paste can be prepared two weeks ahead, covered and refrigerated.)

Place shredded chicken in a medium bowl. Blend ancho paste with enough mayonnaise to coat the chicken well, and mix with chicken.

Cut rolls in half. Hollow out each half. Toast rolls until crisp and butter well. Set 2 halves on each plate, top with chicken salad, garnish with cilantro and serve.

Serves 6.

From Bon Appetit magazine.