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I am working mom who loves to cook and bake. I hope to keep track of recipes and share some of my better ones. In the process, hopefully my photography and cooking will get better and better!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Spinach Artichoke spread, Mozzarella, and Sun dried Tomato Chicken sandwiches

Mmmm.   This sandwich has a lot of components, but they all work.  It's the perfect sandwich for a lunch with someone special-  easy to prep in advance, but thoroughly impressive in a "yes, you're special" kind of way.  You can even grill the chicken in advance, but I like the temperature contrast with the spinach spread!

Adapted from Jeff Mauro

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Balsamic  vinegar

Spinach and Artichoke Spread:
5 ounces (1/2 a box) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, drained
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, grated
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
One 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained

Sandwich Build:
Fresh Focaccia, recipe follows
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, sliced into thin strips
1 pound ball fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
2 cups arugula

For the chicken: Marinate the chicken in the Balsamic for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat a grill pan or grill over medium-high heat.

Let any excess marinade drip off the chicken, and then grill the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per side until cooked through. Once cooked, let rest 5 to 10 minutes. Then slice thinly on the bias.

For the spinach and artichoke spread: Squeeze the drained spinach with a kitchen towel to dry it out. Place into a food processor with the sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, lemon zest and juice. Puree until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add the artichokes. Pulse 2 to 3 times to leave the artichokes slightly chunky.

For the sandwich build: Cut the Fresh Focaccia in half into triangles.  Spread each half with Spinach Artichoke Spread. Then, on the bottom of the bread, sprinkle over the sliced sun-dried tomatoes, top with chicken slices, place a layer of mozzarella down and top with arugula. Place on the other half of bread.

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