not your average chicken sandwich

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Close your eyes, wait don’t do that or you won’t be able to read this. Read this, then close your eyes and imagine, if you will, grilled ciabatta with basil mayo layered with warm, grilled chicken breast, asiago cheese, roasted red peppers (see, told you you’d need these), arugula and red onion. Do you see it in your mind’s eye? Can you smell it? Taste it?

For some reason I NEEDED this sandwich. I woke up with it in my head, had all of the ingredients on hand, and my brain was just repeating over and over “grilled chicken sandwich”, “asiago”, “roasted red peppers”, “ciabaaaataaaaaa”…. Which really isn’t a normal thing for it to repeat, normally it’s more along the lines of, ”CHOCOLATE CAKE”, “PEANUT BUTTERRRRR”.

My brain (and stomach) were being held hostage, so I had no choice but to make it happen, and it was every bit as delicious as I imagined.

Ok, now wipe the puddle of drool off of your desk and go get the ingredients and make this sandwich. Now.

Oh, and you can serve it with some roasted red pepper soup and asiago croutons. For this meal, I just doctored some Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup with a little chicken stock, asiago, basil, and croutons. It was a match made in heaven.

I’m not really one to brag, but this meal just really hit the spot for me. Warm, comforting, homey, and filling…. just wow.

As much as I loved this sandwich, I can’t end this post without mentioning how much I love my new light box (thanks BF!). This thing is amazing. Of course, natural light reigns supreme for photos, but I am in a serious state of shock when I can take photos like the ones here on a day like this:

Gross, right? Without this light box I would have been screwed. Royally screwed. These photos wouldn’t have even been an option. My only wish is that it had come with more backdrops, but no biggie. I can easily fashion my own backdrops with a little cloth and some velcro. I just need the time… and motivation.

*Update – I’ve been using leftover ingredients from this sandwich to make wraps for lunch during the week …. still delicious :)

Asiago Chicken Sandwich – serves 2 (but can easily serve more)

[Printable Recipe]

For sandwich:

  • 1 (½ lb) chicken breast, cooked and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted
  • ½ small red onion, sliced
  • 4 slices asiago cheese
  • handful arugula
  • 1 small loaf ciabatta, sliced in half
  • basil mayo (recipe follows)

For mayo:

  • ¼ cup mayo
  • bunch of basil, minced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Make your basil mayo by combining the ingredients in a small bowl or food processor. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

2. Roast your red pepper(s) if you haven’t already, peel off the skin, cut to desired size and set aside until ready to use.

3. Cook your chicken breast as desired. I marinated mine in some stock, salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic, and thyme. Then grilled it over high heat for 6 minutes each side, then rest tented with foil for ten minutes. Set aside.

(You can do everything up to here a day ahead of time, and save grilling the bread for last. Or, don’t even grill the bread and have a tasty cold sandwich instead :) )

4. While the chicken is resting, spread basil mayo on your ciabatta (you won’t all of the mayo). Grill over medium high to high heat until toasted (alternatively, you can toast it in a nonstick skillet, or under the broiler).

5. Assemble sandwiches however you like (some people like the toppings on the bottom, some like them on top, whatever you do, just get them in there)

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