Singletrack Recipe Column:  Cuban Cluckio Sandwichio

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Our very own Charlie Hobbs has been persuaded to give up some of his al fresco culinary skills in the Singletrack recipe column. Because, what is mountain bike riding without eating well?

We have been adding a fantastic food recipe to Singletrack magazine for a while now. In issue 138 we had the “Beefer Reefer”, and 139 saw the awesome “Superior Grande Royale Baked Bean Deluxe”. All of these are available to subscribers via the digital magazine, and also in the printed magazine. If you have missed these great recipes, you should probably become a Singletrack member, cook great food, and be an even more awesome human being.


Let’s get this out of the way right from the start. You’re probably wondering why there is a food column in your favourite mountain bike magazine. Statistics is the answer. Bear with me here. A good Saturday afternoon ride will involve perhaps 5 skids, 2 puddle jumps, 3 unplanned dismounts, 1 ‘last bike to the bakery’ sprint, a dozen chats, 3 pastry-based snacks, zero mountains, some nuts, 2 cakes, and at least 2 post-ride beers. But you are riding only one bike. So, are you really a mountain biker? Where was the mountain? Statistically speaking, you have actually just spent the afternoon ‘pie-ing’. What’s more, have you ever tried riding all day with no food? It simply does not work. Not possible. Now let us move on to…

Cubana Cluckio Sandwichio

When cigar makers migrated from Cuba into Florida in the early 1900s they imported their everyday canteen food with them. About a 100 years or so later, the pork version of this sandwich was forced into the starring food role of a dreadfully tedious movie called ‘Chef’. Don’t watch it; it looks promising, but has zero drama – unlike this awesome recipe.

chicken sandwich
Tangy, sticky, crunchy, chewy… that is four food groups covered.

Here we are going to use orange juice to make an amazingly zingy gravy for this hot meaty sarnie. This is my signature campfire meal at Battle on the Beach, an early season beach race with camping, largely because it’s a crowd-pleaser that only requires one pan and can be cooked outdoors. The last time I was there, the bar closed on Sunday afternoon and they gave me and my old singlespeed pal Ringo at least a dozen unsold pints. Well, I guess all the racing got to us and shortly afterwards my knives and fire skills were still keen, but compromised, so I ‘conducted’ the recipe from my deckchair by waving my arms around, with lots of help from hungry friends. Isn’t racing brilliant.

Serves 4.

What you need:

  • One deep frying pan or saucepan
  • Olive oil
  • 2 biggish chicken breasts sliced horizontally into 1cm thick ‘slabs’. (Don’t worry, there are veggie options at the end)
  • 2 medium onions
  • A whole garlic chopped up or crushed. All of it, the whole bulb, not a few cloves. Be more French.
  • 500ml of best orange juice you can find, avoid the cheap shite that stings
  • 500ml chicken stock.
  • 1 red chilli, or more if you like, but probably not less, maybe deseed it. Look, this is
  • not a bloody tax return, this is food jazz, make it up as you go along. It will be fine.
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons ground cumin – start with 2, maybe add one later
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons ground oregano, start with 2
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Dijon mustard.
  • Slices of Swiss cheese
  • Slices of ham
  • Sliced gherkins
  • Nice bread, such as panini rolls or ciabatta

What to do.

  1. Get the oil hot in the pan, add the slabs of chicken and fry until they start to turn golden.
  2. Add the onions and cook until soft, but not burnt, turn down the heat a little.
  3. Now add cumin, oregano, garlic, and the chilli. Stir it up.
  4. Turn up the heat and add orange juice and chicken stock, bring to the boil. Now simmer… it takes about 30 minutes of simmering for this to thicken into a sticky gravy. Keep an eye on it – maybe add a little water if it needs it.
  5. While that’s all happening, warm your bread in an oven or over the fire.
  6. Now taste your sauce – does it need more chilli, cumin, oregano? Is it a thick, almost sticky gravy – does it need more heat, maybe more time? When you are happy‚ moveon to…
  7. Assembly: start at the bottom with bread, then chicken, then lots of the gravy, then cheese, then ham, gherkins and finally the other half of your bread with a little mustard on it. Just a little.
  8. Serve with stylish tropical alcohol such as Mojitos or White Russians. The gravy isgreat with sweet potato wedges. The gravy will go down your shirt, so wear a Hawaiian as the stains should blend in and go unnoticed by humans (but never dogs).

Vegetarian option: switch to veggie stock, use slices of aubergine or grilled portobello mushrooms, and drop the ham. All the flavour is in the gravy, so this should work well without meat

Want more great food?

The next recipe in the Singletrack food column is in issue 140 and is a Green Minestrone soup. Dead easy to make, super healthy, and makes you fart a bit. Don’t miss out on that… become a Singletrack member today, not tomorrow, get with it today.

Or… you could subscribe to Good Housekeeping magazine, but you will find it really bloody light on mountain bike content, and big on doilies and other such superfluous nonsense. Take the Singletrack food column option.

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Spam Spam Spam Spam!

It is great to hear from Singletrack members who have tried the recipe. I say great, sometimes its more surprising than great. Mr D Bisset explains: “I planned to cook Charlie’s recipe from the new magazine. No chicken so I used spam, and my garlic and chilli were frozen. M&S orange juice with my chicken stock, and when ready served it with some of Mr Warburton’s finest”. I would say (ignoring the crazy spam substitution) that this is pretty close, just needed more time for the gravy to get thick and sticky.

Marks for presentation… no comment.
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Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Singletrack Recipe Column:  Cuban Cluckio Sandwichio
  • Premier Icon sillysilly
    Full Member

    Looks tasty, I like this non MTB feature. Will attempt it over the weekend and post a pic.

    Premier Icon Nick
    Full Member

    Did the baked beans at the weekend, absolute winner.

    Premier Icon David Bisset
    Full Member

    Good work Charlie. I have several tins of spam in the cupboard in case you are passing through. One day I shall show you chilli con spam, as cooked at Skiddaw House Hostel.

    Premier Icon crustycrankypants
    Full Member

    Chef is a perfectly decent flick. for that reason, im out definitely gonna try this…

    Premier Icon David Gould
    Free Member

    Nice as usual but gotta disagree about Chef. I thoroughly enjoyed it and came away from it craving a proper Cuban sandwich. I’d fry the bread in unsalted butter though for maximum impact…….mmmmmmmmm!



Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

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