Last time we talked about making a no-knead focaccia bread – now we’re going to use that bread for a delicious chicken sandwich. Ciabatta would probably be a little bit better/more stable, but that’s something I was ready to approach yet. BUT the bread still made for a fantastic loaf, and added such a delightful additional layer to this sammie! Plus, when you add a couple swipes of pesto on top of it, how can you not?! Plus, sometimes a little bread, some pesto, and olive oil drizzle? Perfection. Just perfection. So if you’re looking for a quick and easy lunch to throw together as the weather is now starting to get warmer, this is the one!
Hoping you are safe and well!
— Cooking Maggie
On Pesto Chicken Focaccia Sandwiches
for the chicken
- 1 package of thin cut chicken breasts (the pre-sliced variety) for thinner/double stacking, otherwise, just take 2 chicken breasts and slice them in half)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
for the pesto
- 8 oz (or two small packets) of fresh basil leaves, stems removed
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 bag of spinach
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil to get to a spreadable consistency
for the sandwich
- Thin-sliced mozzarella
- Homemade focaccia (OR store bought focaccia/ciabata)
- Julienned sun-dried tomatos
- Microgreens or spinach or arugula
- Chicken: Add all marinade ingredients into a big zip lock bag – mix it all up. Add in your chicken and marinate for 20 minutes or overnight.
- Pesto: In a blender or food processor, add all ingredients and chop up thoroughly. Then slowly drizzle in your olive oil until you get a smooth, spreadable consistency. Set aside in the fridge in an air-tight container until you’re ready.
- Sandwich: In a large pan, add a little olive oil and sear the chicken till golden brown on both sides over medium/medium high heat till cooked through. When chicken is done, set aside on a clean plate and allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes.
- Preheat your broiler, and line a small baking sheet with foil; place the grilled chicken breasts onto the baking sheet, top each with some of the sliced mozzarella and broiler for about 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted. You can also add your bread (spread pesto on both halves first!) under the broiler for the last minute too! You can also just cut your bread in half and toast them traditionally.
- To assemble, generously spread some of your pesto sauce onto both the bottom and top pieces of the bread (if you have not done so already), then place a cheesy grilled chicken breast onto the bottom piece of bread, and top with some of the sun-dried tomatoes and microgreens.