Grilled Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwiches with Fontina Cheese
4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich quarter)
Randy Mayor; Melanie J. Clarke
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
5 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1 cup vertically sliced onion
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (7-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, drained and sliced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (12-ounce) loaf rosemary focaccia, cut in half horizontally
4 teaspoons low-fat mayonnaise
3 ounces fontina cheese, thinly sliced
How to Make It
Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and pound to 3/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.
Combine juice, mustard, oil, marjoram, thyme, 1 garlic clove, and chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 2 hours, turning occasionally.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add remaining 4 garlic cloves, onion, sugar, fennel, crushed red pepper, and salt, and sauté 1 minute. Add roasted bell peppers; cook 5 minutes or until onions are tender, stirring frequently. Stir in vinegar and black pepper.
Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until done. Cool slightly; cut chicken into slices.
Spread cut sides of bread evenly with mayonnaise. Arrange cheese on bottom half of bread. Arrange chicken and pepper mixture over cheese. Top with top half of bread; press lightly.
Place stuffed loaf on grill rack; grill 3 minutes on each side or until cheese melts. Cut into quarters.
As our local store carries the basics, we had to substitute sliced sourdough bread, which I highly recommend. We also could not find fontina cheese, so used mozzarella, and other than reducing the red wine vinegar by half, made the recipe as posted. Since I made the mistake of trying to shop on Labor Day weekend, cheese was nearly sold out, so we resorted to those nifty Frigo String Cheese Mozzarella things, which worked great for pulling into strips, and laying them across the chicken and pepper / onion mixture. Once the cheese melts, it holds everything together, like a cheesy prison!Since I used light mayonnaise, I didn't have to skimp on it so much. Spread it on!An interesting tidbit, this sandwich is featured on page 106 of a Cooking Light Chicken cookbook, but with an error regarding the garlic, which calls for one garlic clove, minced and divided. ;-) I had to giggle about that one. I'll definitely make these again. Hubby said it was 'delicioso'!
This is just an okay recipe. If I were to make it again, I would not slice the red pepper.The sandwich was difficult to eat because the 'stuff' wanted to fall out. I used chicken tenders that came out really moist but with all the other flavors going on it wasn't obvious that the marinade came through. Also, Focaccia is too thick. I should have sliced away some of the inside bread.
This was absolutely delicious. It requires a little prep and work but is so worth it. Instead of serving it on flatbread I used whole wheat hamburger buns which were nice as the filling is hearty. The chicken was also cooked on a skillet due to not having a grill, no problem. I served it with a fruit salad to keep the dinner light.
I've made this recipe numerous times and just thought I'd lost the recipe ... and FREAKED! But thank goodness for the recipe archive! This is an often-requested meal from friends and family. We love it!