Pesto Chicken Focaccia Sandwiches

with Tomato Dipping Sauce

  • Group Created with Sketch.
    Time
    40 min
  • icon_serves Created with Sketch.
    Servings
    4
  • icon_cals Created with Sketch.
    Nutrition
    Est. 840 calories

These satisfying sandwiches feature two kinds of melty cheese and chicken tossed in our verdant basil pesto layered onto golden focaccia bread—first toasted in the oven, then rubbed with a whole clove of garlic to add aromatic depth of flavor.

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ingredients
Pesto Chicken Focaccia Sandwiches with Tomato Dipping Sauce
Title
  • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 15-Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • ¾ lb Carrots
  • 1 Piece Focaccia Bread
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tbsps Ghee
  • 2 oz Fontina Cheese
  • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
  • 2 oz Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 oz Sliced Roasted Red Peppers
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (Whole Dried Basil, Sage, Oregano, Savory, Rosemary, Thyme, & Marjoram)
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step-by-step
instructions
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Remove the ghee from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash, dry, and peel the carrots. Halve crosswise, then quarter lengthwise. Roughly chop the peppers. Halve the bread horizontally. Grate the fontina on the large side of a box grater. Peel 2 cloves of garlic; keeping 1 clove whole, roughly chop the remaining clove. 

Roast & finish the carrots:
2 Roast & finish the carrots:

Place the carrot pieces on a sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and arrange in an even layer. Roast 17 to 19 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Reserving the sheet pan, transfer the roasted carrots to a bowl; add the chopped peppers. Toss to combine. Cover with foil to keep warm. 

Cook & slice the chicken:
3 Cook & slice the chicken:

Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat the ghee on medium-high until melted. Add the seasoned chicken. Cook 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, thinly slice crosswise and transfer to a large bowl. 

Toast the bread:
4 Toast the bread:

Place the halved bread, cut side up, on the reserved sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Evenly top the bottom half with the grated fontina and monterey jack. Bake 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 whole garlic clove; discard the clove. Transfer both halves to a cutting board. 

Make the dipping sauce:
5 Make the dipping sauce:

Meanwhile, in the pan of reserved fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until lightly browned. Add the tomatoes (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any fond, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. 

Finish & serve your dish:
6 Finish & serve your dish:

Add the pesto to the bowl of sliced chicken. Season with salt and pepper; stir to thoroughly coat. Assemble the sandwiches using the toasted bread and dressed chicken. Using a serrated knife, cut into 4 equal-sized portions. Serve the finished sandwiches with the finished carrots and dipping sauce on the side. Enjoy!

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Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Remove the ghee from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash, dry, and peel the carrots. Halve crosswise, then quarter lengthwise. Roughly chop the peppers. Halve the bread horizontally. Grate the fontina on the large side of a box grater. Peel 2 cloves of garlic; keeping 1 clove whole, roughly chop the remaining clove. 

2 Roast & finish the carrots:

Place the carrot pieces on a sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and arrange in an even layer. Roast 17 to 19 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Reserving the sheet pan, transfer the roasted carrots to a bowl; add the chopped peppers. Toss to combine. Cover with foil to keep warm. 

Roast & finish the carrots:
Cook & slice the chicken:
3 Cook & slice the chicken:

Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat the ghee on medium-high until melted. Add the seasoned chicken. Cook 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, thinly slice crosswise and transfer to a large bowl. 

4 Toast the bread:

Place the halved bread, cut side up, on the reserved sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Evenly top the bottom half with the grated fontina and monterey jack. Bake 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 whole garlic clove; discard the clove. Transfer both halves to a cutting board. 

Toast the bread:
Make the dipping sauce:
5 Make the dipping sauce:

Meanwhile, in the pan of reserved fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until lightly browned. Add the tomatoes (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any fond, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. 

6 Finish & serve your dish:

Add the pesto to the bowl of sliced chicken. Season with salt and pepper; stir to thoroughly coat. Assemble the sandwiches using the toasted bread and dressed chicken. Using a serrated knife, cut into 4 equal-sized portions. Serve the finished sandwiches with the finished carrots and dipping sauce on the side. Enjoy!

Finish & serve your dish: