Pesto Chicken Focaccia Sandwiches with Tomato Dipping Sauce

Pesto Chicken Focaccia Sandwiches

with Tomato Dipping Sauce

45 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

These satisfying sandwiches feature 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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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    750 Cals (est.)
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ingredients
Pesto Chicken Focaccia Sandwiches with Tomato Dipping Sauce
Title
  • 1⅛ lbs Chopped Chicken Breast
  • 1 15-Oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Piece Focaccia Bread
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 lb Broccoli
  • 1 oz Sliced Roasted Red Peppers
  • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
  • 4 oz Shredded Fontina Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (Whole Dried Basil, Sage, Oregano, Savory, Rosemary, Thyme & Marjoram)
Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the broccoli; cut off and discard the  bottom 1/2 inch of the stem, then cut the broccoli into small florets. Roughly chop the peppers. Halve the bread. Peel 2 cloves of garlic. Keeping one clove whole, roughly chop the remaining clove. 

Roast & finish the broccoli
2 Roast & finish the broccoli

Line a sheet pan with foil. Place the broccoli florets on the foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and arrange in an even layer. Roast 14 to 16 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Reserving the sheet pan, transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the chopped peppers. Cover with foil to keep warm. 

Cook the chicken
3 Cook the chicken

Meanwhile, 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 lightly browned. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, 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 cheese. 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. Transfer both halves to a cutting board. 

Make the sauce
5 Make the sauce

In the pan of reserved fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the tomatoes (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Finish & serve your dish
6 Finish & serve your dish

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

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the broccoli; cut off and discard the  bottom 1/2 inch of the stem, then cut the broccoli into small florets. Roughly chop the peppers. Halve the bread. Peel 2 cloves of garlic. Keeping one clove whole, roughly chop the remaining clove. 

2 Roast & finish the broccoli

Line a sheet pan with foil. Place the broccoli florets on the foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and arrange in an even layer. Roast 14 to 16 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Reserving the sheet pan, transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the chopped peppers. Cover with foil to keep warm. 

Roast & finish the broccoli
Cook the chicken
3 Cook the chicken

Meanwhile, 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 lightly browned. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, 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 cheese. 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. Transfer both halves to a cutting board. 

Toast the bread
Make the sauce
5 Make the sauce

In the pan of reserved fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the tomatoes (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

6 Finish & serve your dish

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

Finish & serve your dish
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