Balsamic vinegar cooks down to a glaze that clings to the sandwich fillings, adding a hint of sweetness and a touch of acidity. Pressing the sandwich after assembling it conducts the heat from the chicken and cooked vegetables to melt the cheese.
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/4 pounds chicken breast tenders
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, divided
2 cups red bell pepper strips (about 2 medium)
2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 1 large)
2 (8-ounce) loaves focaccia bread, cut in half horizontally
4 ounces provolone cheese, thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
How to Make It
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt over chicken. Add chicken to pan; cook 1 minute on each side or until lightly browned. Add 1/4 cup vinegar; cook 2 minutes or until chicken is done and vinegar is syrupy. Remove chicken mixture from the pan; cover and keep warm. Wipe pan clean with a paper towel.
Return pan to medium-high heat; add remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add bell pepper and onion; sauté 7 minutes or until tender. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 cup vinegar; cook 1 minute or until vinegar is syrupy.
Arrange chicken mixture evenly over bottom halves of bread; top with bell pepper mixture. Arrange cheese over pepper mixture, and sprinkle with black pepper. Top with top halves of bread. Place a cast-iron or heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; let stand 5 minutes. Cut each sandwich into 6 wedges.
This was really good and so easy to make. I used ciabatta bread and I used my pannini press instead of using a heavy skillet. My son put thousand island dressing on his. I served it with a 3 bean salad. Will definitly be making this again.
I made this for the first time last night for my family with guests over and everyone raved about the sandwiches! I used Ciabatta bread and pressed in a Panini maker, also added a little oregano and it turned out excellent, very flavorful! Will definitely make this a family favorite recipe.
I held back a little on the vinegar because DD doesn't usually like it but next time I'll make it the way the recipe says exactly. Very flavorful using our panini maker and freshly baked focaccia bread. I would add a sprinkle of rosemary to the onion/pepper mixture. Definitely a keeper of a recipe and we will add this to our regular rotation.
Delicious & very easy! Used chicken breast instead of the tenders and sliced each in half (horizontally) so that they were thin and cooked quickly. Cooked as recipe indicated and was universally loved by family.
Had some leftovers for next day's lunch - added thinly sliced nectarine & baby spinach to the sandwich and ate it cold - still great!
Definitely a keeper and something to add to our rotation.