Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Balsamic Glazed Chicken & Bell Pepper Sandwich

I found this Cooking Light recipe back in the summer before I had a blog. I love this because it tastes like a fancy sandwich I would get at a cafe. The recipe calls for 2 loaves of focaccia, and serves 6, so I easily halved it, and it served 3. It just so happened we had a surprise dinner guest that night. A lot of the time I make recipes that serve 2, so I was very happy that this was on the menu for that night! I did use store-bought focaccia, but ONE DAY I will master bread baking, and make my own. This meal is already in our rotation, and if you try it, don’t be surprised if you want to add it to yours. My changes are in italics. This is the recipe for 6 servings.


Balsamic Glazed Chicken & Bell Pepper Sandwich

from Cooking Light
Yields: 6 servings


4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/4 pounds chicken breast tenders
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, divided (plus more if you choose to marinate)
2 cups red bell pepper strips (about 2 medium)
2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 1 large)
2 (8-ounce) loaves focaccia bread, cut in half horizontally
4 ounces provolone cheese, thinly sliced (this time I actually used swiss because it's what I had on hand, both taste good on this)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
any type of buttery spread (I chose Smart Balance Light with Flax Oil)


(Optional)If possible, marinate chicken in enough balsamic vinegar to cover chicken. Marinate in refrigerator 4 hours or overnight.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt over chicken. Add chicken to pan; cook 1 minute on each side or until lightly browned. Add 1/4 cup vinegar; cook 2 minutes or until chicken is done and vinegar is syrupy. Remove chicken mixture from the pan; cover and keep warm. Wipe pan clean with a paper towel.

Return pan to medium-high heat; add remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add bell pepper and onion; sauté 7 minutes or until tender. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 cup vinegar; cook 1 minute or until vinegar is syrupy.

(Optional) Meanwhile, heat up panini press (or in my case George Foreman). Spread buttery spread onto the inside of the bread halves and grill so that the insides are facing out (I hope this makes sense), and the outer crusts are facing out. Once the bread is grilled and butter has melted remove from panini press or grill.

Arrange chicken mixture evenly over bottom halves of bread; top with bell pepper mixture. Arrange cheese over pepper mixture, and sprinkle with black pepper. Top with top halves of bread. Place a cast-iron or heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; let stand 5 minutes. Cut each sandwich into 6 wedges.

(Optional) Instead of just placing a heavy skillet on mine, I put it back onto the George Foreman (or panini press if you are lucky) and grilled it there to warm the bread more and help melt the cheese.

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