Blackened Chicken Muffuletta Recipe

MuffulettaThe first Muffuletta sandwich was constructed in the early 1900s in New Orleans when a group of Italian immigrants were having their lunch at the Central Grocery. They were eating their bread, meat, and vegetables separately in the traditional European way. The grocery’s owner offered to combine all of the ingredients in a sandwich to make it easier to eat and the Muffuletta was born! The Muffuletta gets its name from the large, round Italian bread from which it was originally made.

The first time that I ever tried this sandwich was in Chicago at a small restaurant on Kinzie Street called Club Creole. This restaurant has since closed but its memory still lives on in the hearts and minds of many Chicagoans especially around the time of Mardi Gras.

Central Grocery

Although most people think of Po-Boys and Gumbo when they think of New Orleans and Mardi Gras, the Muffuletta has its place in the Big Easy too. The Muffuletta is one monster of a sandwich. If you can’t make it to the Central Grocery this Fat Tuesday, you can make one in your own kitchen instead.

You can either make your own bread or use a round loaf from your favorite baker. Although the thought of baking your own bread might seem kind of crazy, it actually is very easy if you have a dutch oven. For this recipe, we baked a loaf of Easy Artisan Bread, basting it with a light coat of extra virgin olive oil topped with a dusting of sesame seeds before baking.Muffuletta roll

Recommended Equipment:
Dutch oven (if you plan to make your own bread)
cast iron skillet

olive salad:
1/2 cup kalamata olives, drained, chopped, pit removed
1 cup green olives (with pimento), chopped
1 tbsp capers, drained
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup pepperoncini, drained and chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/4 cup cocktail onions, chopped
1 tspn dried basil
1 tspn dried oregano
1/2 tspn celery salt
1/2 tspn fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
olive salad

Cajun seasoning and blackened chicken:
2 to 3 chicken breasts, butterflied
4 tspn sea salt
5 tspn paprika
4 tspn onion powder
4 tspn garlic powder
1 tspn cayenne pepper
2 tspn fresh ground black pepper
2 tspn dried thyme
2 tspn dried oregano
blackened chicken

Cajun style mayonnaise:
1 egg yolk
1 tspn Dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of fresh ground black pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning

additional ingredients for the sandwich:
8 oz. mortadella, thinly sliced
8 oz. soppressata or Genoa salami, thinly sliced
8 oz. cooked ham, thinly sliced
8 oz. provolone cheese
1 round loaf of bread


  1. If you plan to make your own bread from scratch, you will need to start the recipe for Easy Artisan Bread a day in advance. If you decide to buy your bread, skip down to making the olive salad.

olive salad:

  1. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together then transfer the mixture to a glass container. Add additional red wine vinegar, olive oil, and canola oil to cover the vegetables if needed.
  2. Cover the container and refrigerate overnight.

Cajun seasoning and blackened chicken:

  1. To prepare the blackened chicken, mix all of the ingredients (except for the chicken) in a mixing bowl. Then butterfly the chicken to that the pieces of chicken are 1/2 of there original thickness. Apply the Cajun seasoning to both sides of each piece of chicken. (Be sure to reserve a tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning to use in the mayonnaise). Place the pieces of chicken on a plate. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  2. Place the cast iron skillet in the oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. When the skillet is hot, place the one of the chicken breasts on the skillet and return it to the oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes without flipping the chicken. Remove the chicken and set it aside for later. Repeat this step for each of the chicken breasts.

Cajun style mayonnaise:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, Dijon mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  2. Slowly add the olive oil a little at a time while whisking.
  3. When the mayonnaise reaches the desired consistency, add the Cajun seasoning.
  4. Refrigerate the mayonnaise until you are ready to assemble the muffuletta sandwich.

Constructing the Blackened Chicken Muffuletta:

  1. Cut the round loaf of bread horizontally like a hamburger bun. Remove some of the excess bread from the interior part of the loaf to make room for the filling.
  2. Spread a layer of the Cajun style mayonnaise on the bottom piece of the bread.
  3. Next, add a layer of the mortadella.
  4. Followed by a layer of Genoa salami or soppressata.Muffuletta6
  5. Next, add a layer of cooked ham.
  6. Top this with a layer of provolone cheese.
  7. Next, place two of the pieces of blacked chicken on top of the cheese.Muffuletta9
  8. Top this with as much of the olive salad that you can fit on top of the chicken.
  9. Place the top piece of the bread loaf on top and your Blackened Chicken Muffuletta is complete.
  10. Cut it into 6 to 8 wedges with a serrated knife and serve.

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