Sandwich night again!! We had these last Wednesday for dinner, they were really good. You’ll need a sandwich press, or something to weight them down on a grill pan or skillet. I used a sandwich press. This will make four sandwiches. This recipe comes from the book “‘wichCraft” by Tom Colicchio. As I’m sure you’re aware, he’s the head judge on Bravo’s tv show “Top Chef”. He’s also a restauranteur and ‘wichCraft is his sandwich shop in NYC, and I think there are some locations in California. He wrote a book featuring the sandwiches on the menu of the shop, and they are so good! Enjoy!!
1/4 cup Kosher salt
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts
8 slices of sourdough bread
1/4 cup Spinach-Basil Pesto, recipe to follow
2 roasted red bell peppers, jarred or homemade
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1 cup packed spinach leaves, 1 cup packed basil leaves, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp chopped garlic, 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tbs toasted pine nuts, and salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Store in airtight container in the fridge. Use the leftovers with pasta or rice.
In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a gentle simmer and salt heavily. Add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and pepper. Add the chicken to the poaching liquid and simmer until it reaches an internal temp of 160 F. Allow the chicken to cool in the poaching liquid, this will make it stay moist.
Preheat a sandwich press according to the manufacturer’s directions. Don’t butter it or the bread slices. Thinly slice the chicken breasts, and the peppers if they don’t come presliced.
Assemble the sandwiches: take one slice of bread, top with 1/4 of the chicken slices, then spread pesto on top of the chicken, then top with 1/4 of the peppers and lastly 1/4 of the mozzarella slices. Top with another slice of bread. Repeat until you have four sandwiches assembled. Cook the sandwiches on the sandwich press until done, or place them in a preheated skillet and weight them down with something until they are pressed and the cheese is melted. Cut into halves and enjoy!!