1 red onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped or grated
1 14.5 oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt & Pepper
4 pieces skinless boneless chicken breast, halved horizontally
12 thin slices smoked mozzarella (1 pound ball)
2 cups loosely packed baby arugula
1/2 cup basil leaves shredded or torn
1 loaf ciabatta bread, split lengthwise and cut into 4 pieces
1. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and chicken stock and heat through, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and lots of pepper. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 7-8 minutes.
2. Drizzle chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook on the grill pan, turning once, for 6 minutes. Remove from the pan and layer 1 chicken piece with 2 mozzarella slices, another chicken piece and another mozzarella slice. Repeat 3 more times to make 4 double-decker chicken stacks. Tenant with foil for 1 minute to soften the mozzarella cheese.
3. Combine the arugula and basil. Pile one quarter of the greens on each of the 4 bottom pieces of ciabatta. Pile the chicken stacks on top, then cover with the barbecue sauce and bread tops.
Everyday with Rachel Ray, December 2009
This recipe is great for a quick, hearty dinner. The size of the sandwich and abundance of sauce makes for a messy meal, but it’s definitely worth the napkin consumption. I made this last night for my boyfriend and me so I only used two chicken breasts. I skipped the stacking of the chicken and cheese under Step 2 and simply melted the cheese on top of the chicken during the last few minutes of cooking. The sandwich is messy enough with a single layer – I’m not sure how one could eat a double-decker version. I also used the fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles from Trader Joe’s because they are always out of plain fire-roasted tomatoes, but I thought the chiles added a nice hint of spice to the peppery sauce. I wouldn’t actually call this meal Italian or barbecue, more a mix of both with a dash of sloppy-joe American, but it certainly satisfies the best of both worlds.