Friday, April 2, 2010

Mediterranean Chicken Ciabatta Sandwiches

John and I both agreed that these sandwiches were one of our favorite meals that we've made in a long time!  Several times throughout the meal John said that they tasted like a sandwich you'd buy at a restaurant.  They are super easy, packed with flavor, and perfect for anyone who's itching to dust off the grill and enjoy this awesome spring weather! 

The idea for this recipe actually came to me last week, but they were supposed to be grilled portabella mushroom sandwiches.  The grocery store didn't have any on Sunday when I went, and I figured I'd just run over to Whole Foods at some point during the week to get them.  Of course things got crazy and that trip to the store never happened, but in hindsight I think that the grilled chicken worked really well with the ciabatta - since the bread is kind of tough and chewy by nature, I think that having something with substance in between makes sense.

John grilled the chicken and red peppers while I handled the rest of the meal.  I think that grilling the peppers makes such a difference in flavor as opposed to buying the canned, roasted red peppers.  He just seasones them with salt, pepper, and olive oil, and their natural sweetness definitely comes out after sitting on the grill for 15 minutes or so.

I'll definitely be making these again and think that they would be great to entertain with - you could set up a little toppings bar that included other ingredients such as bacon, avocado, different cheeses, etc.

Mediterranean Chicken Ciabatta Sandwiches
Serves 2

1 ciabatta loaf
1 piece boneless, skinless chicken breast
Greek salad dressing for use as marinade
1 red bell pepper
2 oz herbed goat cheese
2 tablespoons pesto
mixed greens

Marinade the chicken for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.  Grill the chicken and red bell peppers until chicken is done and bell peppers are soft, with grill marks.

Meanwhile, place ciabatta in a 400 degree preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes.  Cool slightly and cut in half.  Spread one side with goat cheese and the other side with pesto.  

Slice cooked chicken breast in half and place one piece on each sandwich.  Top with red bell peppers and lettuce and serve.

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