Italian Chicken Focaccia Sandwiches with Pesto & Tomato Sauce

Italian Chicken Focaccia Sandwiches

with Pesto & Tomato Sauce

30 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

These satisfying sandwiches feature golden focaccia bread—first toasted in the oven, then rubbed with a whole clove of garlic to add aromatic depth of flavor––then layered with melty cheese, tomato-dressed chicken, and verdant pesto. For a complementary side, we’re serving a vibrant salad filled with crunchy cucumbers, peppery arugula, and more––plus a savory sprinkle of parmesan.
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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    920 Cals (est.)
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ingredients
Italian Chicken Focaccia Sandwiches with Pesto & Tomato Sauce
Title
  • 18 oz Boneless Chicken Breast Pieces
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Piece Focaccia Bread
  • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
  • 1 14.5-Oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 4 oz Arugula
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (Whole Dried Basil, Sage, Oregano, Savory, Rosemary, Thyme & Marjoram)
  • 2 Persian Cucumbers
  • 1 oz Sliced Roasted Red Peppers
  • 4 oz Shredded Fontina Cheese
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 oz Balsamic-Marinated Cipolline Onions
  • ¼ cup Mayonnaise
Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the bread horizontally. Peel 2 cloves of garlic. Keeping 1 clove whole, using a zester or the small side of a box grater, finely grate the remaining clove into a paste. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Roughly chop the onions. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, half the parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, and as much of the garlic paste as you'd like; season with salt and pepper.

Cook the chicken & sauce
2 Cook the chicken & sauce

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned. Add the tomatoes (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Turn off the heat.

Toast the bread
3 Toast the bread

Place the halved bread, cut side up, on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Evenly top the bottom half with the fontina. Toast in the oven 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, carefully rub the top half with the peeled garlic clove; discard the clove.

Finish & serve your dish
4 Finish & serve your dish

Just before serving, add the arugula, sliced cucumbers, peppers, and chopped onions to the bowl of dressing. Toss to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Assemble the sandwiches using the toasted bread, pesto, and cooked chicken and sauce. Using a serrated knife, cut the sandwiches into 4 equal-sized portions. Serve the finished sandwiches with the salad on the side. Garnish the salad with the remaining parmesan. Enjoy! 

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the bread horizontally. Peel 2 cloves of garlic. Keeping 1 clove whole, using a zester or the small side of a box grater, finely grate the remaining clove into a paste. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Roughly chop the onions. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, half the parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, and as much of the garlic paste as you'd like; season with salt and pepper.

2 Cook the chicken & sauce

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned. Add the tomatoes (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Turn off the heat.

Cook the chicken & sauce
Toast the bread
3 Toast the bread

Place the halved bread, cut side up, on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Evenly top the bottom half with the fontina. Toast in the oven 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, carefully rub the top half with the peeled garlic clove; discard the clove.

4 Finish & serve your dish

Just before serving, add the arugula, sliced cucumbers, peppers, and chopped onions to the bowl of dressing. Toss to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Assemble the sandwiches using the toasted bread, pesto, and cooked chicken and sauce. Using a serrated knife, cut the sandwiches into 4 equal-sized portions. Serve the finished sandwiches with the salad on the side. Garnish the salad with the remaining parmesan. Enjoy! 

Finish & serve your dish
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