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The Sandwich Generation: Healthy Sandwich Recipes

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Chicken Breast with Roasted Red Peppers, Mozzarella, and Pesto

Tom Colicchio is the head judge on Bravo's Top Chef and owner of seven restaurants, including 'wichcraft in New York City, which specializes in sandwiches. With this recipe, Colicchio makes a chicken sandwich anything but boring.

Start to finish: 45 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 leaves fresh basil
  • 8 slices rustic country bread, preferably 100 percent whole grain
  • 1/4 cup pesto (Colicchio makes his own, but store-bought works fine)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella or buffalo mozzarella, evenly sliced
  • 2 red bell peppers (you can also use 1 jar of store-bought roasted red peppers)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Fill a large pot about two-thirds full of water. Bring to a gentle simmer and add thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Place the chicken in the poaching liquid and simmer until cooked through (about 160 degrees F. on a meat thermometer). Let the chicken cool in the liquid, then remove and slice about 1/4 inch thick. Brush chicken slices with olive oil and top with basil leaves.
  2. While the chicken is cooling, char the whole red peppers over an open flame on a grill. The skin should be black but not brittle. Place charred peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Once they've cooled slightly, remove the skin, seeds, and stem. Slice peppers into strips about 1/4 inch thick and place in a bowl. Mix with the garlic, rosemary, and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. (Or use 1 jar store-bought roasted peppers.)
  3. Place 4 slices of bread on a cutting board. Layer the chicken slices evenly over each; spread with 1 tablespoon pesto. On the remaining 4 pieces of bread, place the roasted pepper strips and sliced mozzarella. Toast all 8 slices of bread in a toaster oven until the cheese is melted and starting to bubble. Remove and top chicken and pesto bread slices with the bread holding the pepper strips and mozzarella. Cut each sandwich in half.

Nutrition facts per serving: 609 calories, 44g protein, 36g carbohydrate, 31g fat (13g saturated), 3g fiber

NOTE: For a lower-fat version, use part-skim mozzarella and 1/2 tablespoon pesto per sandwich. You'll save 7g fat and 7g saturated fat.

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