Today marks forty days since we celebrated Easter. Forth Days – the number of days God made it rain. Forty Days past before Noah opened the window of the ark he had made. Moses was on the mountain Forty Days and returned with the 10 Commandments. Christ fasted in the wilderness for Forty Days. Forty Days holds great meaning.
Today is the Feast of Ascension; a Holy Day of Obligation for many Catholics around the world. On this day, the faithful celebrate Christ’s ascension into Heaven. Like other Holy Days of Obligation, Catholics are encouraged to spend the day in prayer and contemplation.
In America, and other countries that do not observe Ascension Thursday as a public holiday, the Vatican has allowed the celebration of the Mass to be observed on the following Sunday, the Sunday before Pentecost. Pentecost marks the end of the Easter Season.
Feast Days have traditionally been celebrated with food. Ascension Thursday is no different. For me the things that stand out most for Ascension Thursday, beyond attending Mass, is that typically the choice of food is some form of chicken served in a picnic setting.
Cajun Chicken BLTC Sandwiches
4 thin Chicken Breasts
Cajun Seasoning to taste
4 tablespoons Mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon Prepared Horseradish
1/4 teaspoon Mustard
Salt to taste
Cayenne Pepper to taste
8 slices Bacon
1 large Beefsteak Tomato
1/2 cup Flour for dredging
8 slices Sourdough Bread
Butter as needed
6 slices Smoked Provolone Cheese
Note: A 1-pound package of thin-sliced chicken breasts will provide about 6 or 7 thin breasts. Either cook just what is needed or cook all the chicken. These breasts make for great cold sandwiches later in the week if desired.
Lay chicken breasts out on a large piece of plastic wrap. Sprinkle chicken with Cajun Seasoning on both sides. Wrap in plastic wrap, place in a large zip lock bag. Hold in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, horseradish and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
When ready to cook, fry bacon strips in a large skillet over medium until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towel, keep warm. Leave about a tablespoon or so of bacon drippings in skillet to cook chicken.
While bacon is frying, wash lettuce and dry with a paper towel. Slice tomato and set aside.
Place flour in a pie tin. Season flour with additional cayenne pepper, if desired. Dredge chicken breasts in flour, shake off excess. Pan fry chicken in the same pan used for the bacon. Fry breasts in bacon drippings over medium to medium-high heat about 4 minutes per side or until cooked through. Keep warm.
Heat a Panini Grill. Brush sourdough bread with butter on one side. Spread unbuttered sides of bread with the mayonnaise mixture.
Assemble each sandwich with a bottom slice of bread, butter sided down, followed by 2 slices of bacon, then a chicken breast, topped with cheese, with remaining bread, buttered side up. Place sandwiches on the grill, close lid and let grill until nicely toasted, about 4 minutes or so.
Remove from grill, turn sandwiches over so melted cheese is on the bottom, and plate sandwiches. Lift top slice of bread, add lettuce and tomato to the sandwich, replace top bread. Cut in half, serve and enjoy.