“Like all magnificent things, it’s very simple.”
-Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
I frequently feel that if I just buy the organic hand sewn baby clothes, shop at the farmers market, and make my home into one seamless combination of Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware, and West Elm, I’ll be happy. It’s not true of course. If I lived in the perfectly styled photo shoots that paint my social media feeds up and down, I wouldn’t automatically have a meaningful and magnificent life. And when I try to chase after those things, I end up stressed and resentful.
Thankfully, it’s not a question of lavish expense or cheap mass production. Mending, making do, thrifting, and re-purposing can go a long way in adding a little effortless elegance to our lives.
These sandwiches are just that: effortlessly elegant. The bread was a housewarming gift from a friend. The chicken and white wine bechamel were leftovers from this recipe. They came together quickly and easily and only after I pulled them out of the oven, did I realize that what I had on hand was a perfect marriage of chicken carbonara and a croque madame.
If you’re craving something easy but oh so satisfying for a weeknight dinner, pick up a rotisserie chicken and whip these up.
Carbonara Croque Madames
1 large baguette (for four sandwiches)
Chopped leftover roast chicken, rotisserie chicken, or cooked chicken breasts
4 slices of bacon
1 cup white wine béchamel
1 cup grated gruyere (swiss or parmesan may be substituted)
Grease a baking sheet with olive oil and preheat oven to 350F.
Fry bacon to desired crispness. Remove and chop into small pieces. Fry eggs in the remaining bacon grease.
Slice bread into four pieces and then slice lengthwise. Spread béchamel generously on each slice of bread. Sprinkle the gruyere on each slice. Top each sandwich with chicken and bacon.
Place each sandwich half on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Once the sandwiches are finished baking, place a fried egg on top of each.
Serve with a simple green salad and vinaigrette.