Scrumptious Italian Chicken Sandwich
A Gourmet Chicken Sandwich Made at Home
I owe the creative credit of this recipe to my sister, who actually just threw ingredients together one day to make something new and the result was the foundation for the most scrumptious sandwich creation! I have changed the recipe a bit from the original, but all my thanks goes to her. This sandwich is easy to make, but also turns the ordinary sandwich into an Italian delight that you can make for lunch, dinner, guests...and those that eat it will feel like they just ordered food from a gourmet restaurant.
Photo: Italian Chicken Sandwich taken by Rymom28.
Purple Star Award
This article, then Squidoo lens, was awarded a purple star on 9-12-12, my first one!
I so appreciated this special honor!
You can print and add this recipe to your cook book or bookmark this article. For those that also like to see the process, I have included pictures and additional tips.
For your reference this recipe is located at: www.squidoo.com/italian-chicken-sandwich
Prep Time: 5 min.
Total Time: Approx. 45 min.
Serves: At least 6
- 2 -4 bonesless/skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 garlic salt
- 1 can (14.5 oz) of Italian stewed tomatoes
- 1/2 -1 jar (23.9 oz) of speghetti sauce
- 1 loaf of French bread
- Italian Mozzarella - as much as you like
- 1. Put vegetable oil in nonstick pan to heat on med-high. Cut chicken breasts into strips.
- 2. Place chicken in pan and cook for approximately 3-5 minutes on one side, season with onion powder and garlic salt, turn and cook for another 3-5 minutes on other side.
- 3. Reduce heat to medium, add Italian stewed tomatoes and spaghetti sauce, bring to boil. Stir, then simmer on med-low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, set oven to broil - low setting, if possible.
- 4. Cut French bread in half, so there is a top and bottom. Slice mozzarella if not already sliced. Place bread inside facing up on baking sheet and cover bread with the mozzarella. Broil french bread with cheese for about 3-4 minutes, or until bread is lightly browned and cheese bubbles.
- 5. Once the bread is ready and the chicken filling is completely cooked & has thickened, spread mixture on the bottom half of the french bread, top with other other bread half and cut into sandwich sized servings.
Don't Forget Your Apron
Whenever there is oil involved it helps to have an apron. The red sauce will also bubble, so putting on an apron can save your clothes from stains. Mine is pink with black polka dots.
Cutting the Chicken
I buy frozen boneless/skinless chicken breasts, so I put them in the fridge to thaw the previous day and rinse the chicken before cutting. I cut them into strips about one inch thick and two inches long, but you can cut them to whatever size you like best for eating in your sandwich. This was three breasts that I cut into strips.
Cooking with Vegetable Oil
You do not have to use vegetable oil to cook your chicken. If you'd prefer you can use olive oil, butter, spray the pan with PAM before cooking, etc.
When cooking the chicken, I like to place the chicken strips in a clockwise position, so I know which ones need to be turned first. You can also cut the chicken into small pieces rather than strips and just put it all in at once, stirring as it cooks until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
I usually don't even measure the seasoning, but 1/4 teaspoon of each onion powder and garlic salt will do the trick. Some may not like the flavor of onion, but love garlic, in that case I would suggest 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt and no onion powder. If there are other Italian seasonings you would like to add just remember that there are some in the Italian stewed tomatoes, so you don't want it to be overpowering.
Here are the brands that I love to use for my seasoning!
Italian Stewed Tomatoes
These are absolutely delicious! There are Italian seasonings mixed in with the tomatoes and it makes for easy cooking preparation, so there is no need to cut and stew your own tomatoes.
I am also using my favorite can opener; one touch and the can opener does the rest and doesn't leave any sharp edges.
One of my favorite kitchen gadgets, find out more about this great tool and others in my Must-Have Helpful Kitchen Gadgets article.
Lightly Browned Meat
It took me a while to figure out how to get meat to be lightly browned when I first started cooking. For some reason it always was either too brown or not brown at all. Now I realize that as soon the meat is golden is when you want to reduce the temperature and put in the other ingredients.
Stewed Tomatoes Over Chicken
My family doesn't usually like tomatoes and as you can see the tomatoes are quite large, so I take the spatula, after pouring the Italian stewed tomatoes over the chicken, and cut them down into into smaller pieces. My family absolutely loves it and never complains about the tomatoes in this sandwich.
Add the Sauce
I like to use spaghetti sauce for this recipe, but marinara is another way to go. Although, if you use marinara only half a can of stewed tomatoes will probably be needed, as it is usually thicker than spaghetti sauce.
Ragu ~ Old World Style
There are so many varieties of spaghetti sauce, but Traditional Old World Style Ragu is my favorite and they have two servings of vegetables in every half a cup of sauce!
My last oven actually didn't have temperature levels for broil, it was just the general setting, so I had to watch the bread very carefully to make sure it didn't get too crisp. I am loving my new oven so far, which we bought from Sears, and it has a high and low setting for broil. We still like to turn on the light and watch the bread cook though.
To read more about saving at Sears and to find the same oven visit Best Ways to Save on Large Appliances at Sears.
If you don't already have one, it is helpful to have a bread knife in the kitchen, as it has a specific blade just for cutting bread and can make the job much simpler. I prefer one that is stainless steel with a good grip.
French Bread Halves
I absolutely love bread! I have yet to make French bread, so I buy it at the store for now, but I hope to make it someday. A great French bread has a flaky, crisp, crust with a soft feel to it and should smell amazing.
There are various types of mozzarella; you almost have to experiment to find which one you love. If you can get it fresh from the deli that is probably the best. I buy gourmet Italian mozzarella, this was the 8 oz size that I sliced. I wish that I had a better slicer, but I make the one I have work until we get the slicer I would like. You can even buy previously sliced packages of mozzarella, but I would recommend staying away from grated for this recipe, as it can melt too quickly and burn.
My pick for a slicer is the Borner V-Slicer...it does amazing things! To find out more and see it in action visit: Must-Have Helpful Kitchen Gadgets. For now, I am using the slicer on the side of our grater, which does not make for good slicing. It is best to have a slicer that it easy to use and makes the same size slices every time!
Mozzarella on French Bread
I like a lot of cheese, I actually used to put cheese on both sides of the bread and on top of the filing later, but it was a little too much cheese for my family. That is the great thing about this recipe though, it is so easy to adjust depending on others likings.
Filling Cooking while Bread Cooks
I just love this sight! Some may think 30 minutes is quite a while to let the filling mixture cook, but the chicken gets marinated in the sauce and all the seasonings are infused into everything, which produces delicious flavors. Let's just say it is well worth the wait! Plus, since you are working with the bread while everything cooks, the time just flies by.
Watch for Bubbling
Take the bread out of the oven as soon as you see the cheese bubble and the edges of the bread are lightly toasted.
At the end of cooking, the sauce for the filling will be nice and thick, which is perfect for your sandwich!
Covered in Goodness
I put the entire filing mixture on the bottom half of the bread. This is a napkin food, but it is so good you may want to lick your fingers instead. It is up to you how large the sandwiches should be, so you can serve at least 6 people; more depending on how you cut it.
There you have it, a scrumptious gourmet Italian chicken sandwich made in your very own kitchen! Your taste buds will be in Heaven, as will all those you share it with.
When do you like to eat a chicken sandwich?
There is so much you can do with this recipe! I absolutely love the recipe as is, but here are a few suggested changes to the recipe to add a little variety.
- To sweeten it up add 1/4 teaspoon sugar to the mixture.
- Put basil leaves on the bread after taking out of the oven, before putting on the sauce or add dried basil to the filling mixture.
- For those who prefer no tomato chunks, blend the stewed tomatoes before adding them to the chicken.
- For vegetarians or those that can't have meat leave out the chicken and use two cans of stewed tomatoes, simmer 45 minutes or until mixture thickens.
- Add meatballs instead of chicken.
- Suate some onions and bell peppers to put on top of the filling mixture.
- Gluten-free option, serve mixture over gluten-free pasta and top with mozzarella ~ inspired by another writer.
- Make your own Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce ~ recipe by JTWalters
What do you like most about this recipe? Once you have tried it, make sure to come back again to leave a review and/or changes that you've made. If I like the changes as well, I'll add your suggestions to the variations list with credit to you.