Chicken Pesto Focaccia Sandwiches
A great sandwich is the sum of high-quality ingredients. So naturally, these chicken pesto focaccia sandwiches from Melissa Coleman’s cookbook, The Minimalist Kitchen, start with homemade pesto. They’re topped with chicken that’s pounded paper-thin and then cooked to golden, crispy perfection. Flecks of sun-dried tomatoes and a smattering of feta add just enough brightness. Use freshly baked bread, if possible, to take your creation completely over the top.
2 cups fresh basil leaves
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
½ teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Neutral oil cooking spray
One 8-ounce loaf focaccia
⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
⅓ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
⅔ cup packed mixed greens
1. Make the Pesto: Add the basil, Parmesan, olive oil, almond butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic to the bowl of a blender or food processor; season with salt and pepper. Pulse until blended and creamy. The pesto can be made a week in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.
2. Make the Chicken: Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, place the chicken in a freezer bag and pound flat until it’s about ⅜-inch thick. Cut each breast into four equal parts; season with salt and pepper. Lightly spray the pan with cooking spray. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook, flipping once, until a meat thermometer reads 165°F, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest on a cutting board.
3. Assemble the Pancakes: Cut the focaccia into four even pieces. Using a serrated bread knife, carefully cut each piece horizontally in half. Liberally spread the bottom halves with the pesto. Top with the feta, sun-dried tomatoes, greens, chicken and top halves of the focaccia. Working in batches, place the sandwiches in the pan and cook on each side until toasted, about 1 minute per side.