This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

The Cornish


12th March, 2013
Matt Wilkinson of Pope Joan
Tuesday 12th March 2013
The Cornish is probably Pope Joan's most famous sandwich.  It's not pretty, but it tastes bloody amazing.  The Cornish arrives all wrapped up in foil, looking a little bit lonely on the plate, and not particularly special.  But don't be fooled!  Once unwrapped, this warm, comforting chicken roll, dripping with tasty mayo and roast chicken-y juices straight from the oven, is so rich with flavour that even the hungriest sandwich lover will struggle to finish every last bite.  It is truly lip-smacking good.  As Matt says, it's like your Mum's best home-cooked roast chicken dinner, wrapped up in a sandwich, stuffing and all.  YUM!

Matt Wilkinson's famous 'Cornish' chicken sandwich.  Photo - Sean Fennessy.

Before Pope Joan opened a great friend of mine Richard Cornish described a cracking sandwich that is now The Cornish. I named it after him because I’m British and because it’s a nod of the cap to the wonderful world that is Cornwall.

Close your eyes and think about a roast chicken dinner that ya mum makes, add some zing from a little bit of jalapeño, and be sure to add some mayo (it’s like chicken sandwich blasphemy if you don’t). So let’s take this roasted chicken that has a sage and onion stuffing in it. The chickens I use at home and at Pope Joan/Hams & Bacon are always Milawa Free Range Chooks because they're proper free range.

Chop up the chicken with the stuffing through it, add some jalapeño pepper plus some of that lovely pickle that they are submerged in, bind to coat in mayonnaise, then stick between a bun. Add some crunchy lettuce, and just for show (and that feeling of Christmas time) wrap it up in some foil, then bang it back in the oven so it all warms up, especially the bread. Unwrap it and feel all the comfort joys of present-time and home roasted chicken with that little bit of zing.

Note: and this is a massive note – a bread bun, or as we say it in Yorkshire ‘a tea cake’, has to have a little bit of flour left on the top. It’s that doughnut feeling, you know – when you lick your lips to remove the sugar, but then when you look in the mirror you still have some there! It’s a connection to food that we rarely get anymore as eating manners have spoiled all fun and joy of eating with our hands. Think eating a cob of corn, chewing the cutlets of lamb right to the bone… makes my mouth water just thinking about licking my lips to be rid of the flour from the bread roll.

Matt gets into the Cornish Sandwich. Photo - Sean Fennessy.


For the roast chicken

4 leaves sage
120g breadcrumbs
½ white onion peeled and diced
20g salt
110g water warm
1.9kg Milawa chicken
50ml olive oil

For the sandwich filling

1 quantity roasted chicken meat chopped
1 quantity chicken stuffing chopped
100g tinned jalapeño peppers roughly chopped
60g tinned jalapeño pepper juice
250g mayonnaise
salt and pepper
Cos lettuce

Method (serves four)

Preheat oven to 225°C. Make a stuffing from the sage, bread crumbs, onion, salt and water then stuff into the cavity of the chicken and roast chicken for 24 minutes at 225°C. Increase oven temperature to 250°C and roast for a further 16 minutes. Take the chicken out of the oven then slice open the skin between the legs and the breast then cook for a further 5 minutes.

Take the chicken out of the oven and cool. Once cooled take out the stuffing and reserve then pick down all the meat from the chicken. This should yield no less than 1.2kg of meat. Roughly chop the meat and reserve.

It's now time to construct the sandwich. Mix all the filling ingredients together (except the lettuce leaves) and take four soft English style rolls. Add 3 heaped tablespoons of the chicken mix or more to each roll, then place some cos lettuce leaves on the top and wrap the roll in foil and place in the oven for 5 minutes. This one surely needs a beer on the side.

*This recipe serves four with some left of chicken mix that tastes great in a salad, or my favourite - a jacket potato filling.

MASSIVE thanks to Matt Wilkinson for joining us this month and sharing his impressive sandwich repertoire!  If you'd rather leave your sandwich preparation in the hands of the experts, you could always pop in to Pope Joan and/or Hams and Bacon Produce Store at 75-79 Nicholson st in Brunswick East, where you will find this and many more amazing sandwiches on the menu!

Matt perched at the counter at Hams & Bacon, the Pope Joan produce store.  Photo - Sean Fennessy.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email