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Friday, August 27, 2010

Chicken Pesto Sandwich



It's such a classic sandwich. I forgot I had this dish on my file since the second week of August. Either I've been too busy or I'm getting old and forgetful! I made these sandwiches when we took our friends out on a boat. I needed something less messy, fulfilling, and could be kept in a fridge until the morning. Some kind of sandwich should do it. I then glanced out to my backyard and saw the basil and mint I grew (yes they're still alive! teehee). Chicken pesto sandwiches sound good!

I'm sure you've seen A LOT of pesto recipes. Once you know the basic ingredients, you get the sense. Claudia at Foodessa shared interesting information about pesto. She summarized a definition of pesto if you've never heard of.

The thickness of the pesto is up to your preference

That afternoon I went to buy half chicken breast, bone in and skin on, pine nuts, cheese, arugula, and bread. That's it. I picked half chicken breast, bone in and skin on because they make the chicken juicy and moist for baking. It smells incredible too. Crispy skin is my favorite while white meat is Keith's favorite. We both got what we wanted from the sandwiches! Baby arugula has a little tangy flavor so I think it would pair well with chicken. I was quite excited to share these sandwiches with my friends. My girlfriend baked mochi cupcakes from Roxan at Kitchen Meditation. It was bomb! I had 5 of them.

Pesto can be tweaked in different ways depending on your preference. I've seen some use cilantro instead of mint. Stella at The Witchy Kitchen used sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts (how clever!). On these sandwiches, I picked Gouda cheese for a nutty flavor to pair with the pesto since it contains pine nuts. I was in a rush to make these, so I didn't pay attention to measurements. I adjusted on the go. There will be eye ball measurements on this post. Sorry! Needless to say, you can't go wrong with these classic sandwiches and they taste so good!


Chicken Pesto Sandwich
Yield: 10 (depending on how big you serve)

4 bone-in skin-on half chicken breasts
salt and black pepper
2 palm full basil
1 palm full mint
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3 garlic cloves
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tomatoes, thick sliced
Baby arugula
2 loafs French bread or any bread you like
Gouda cheese, sliced


  • Preheat oven to 400 F. 
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper both sides. Place them on a baking tray skin side up. Bake for 45 mins.
  • While waiting, work on the pesto. Add garlic and pine nuts in a food processor. Pulse a few times until they are coarsely chopped.
  • Add basil, mint, and Parmesan in a food processor. Puree it while running olive oil through a food processor to your desire of thickness. You can keep it in a fridge until the chicken is ready.
  • When the chicken is ready, leave it sit for 5-10 mins for the juice to come out. 
  • Slice chicken meat off the bone. Skin on or off is up to your preference at this point. I used both on my sandwiches. Keep the chicken juice.
  • Cut bread in half lengthwise. Put them on a baking tray and under a broiler for a few mins until they are slightly toasted.
  • Spread pesto on both halves of bread. Line tomato slices, then baby arugula, slices of cheese, chicken (I pour chicken juice on the meat too). Season with salt and and pepper.
  • Put the other half of bread on top. Push them down to flat the sandwich a little. Divide them into about 5 pieces per loaf.
  • These can be served cold but will taste better when served warm. Enjoy!




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lequan@luvtoeat said...

Hey Tanantha,

This sandwich looks absolutely wonderful! I'm a white meat fan but definitely love the skin too, but these days I've got a little princess stealing all my skin and both of Daddy's drumsticks :-). Your chicken are perfectly baked and look so juicy. How I'd love a couple bites of that sexy sandwich. Another wonderful creation. And Stella always has such clever recipes doesn't she? Gotta love that witch.

~Lisa~ said...

What a perfect sandwich! I love pesto and hope to make it one day. Can I come on your boat and have a lunch ready for me too (= Please??? keke

Anonymous said...

This looks so great!! I love pesto and the chicken looks awesome too! Just yum!

Evan @swEEts said...

I've been telling myself that I want to make my own pesto for a while now but everytime I see the price of pinenuts I stop myself ha but this looks too good to pass up.. I love everything about this sandwich!

Pacheco Patty said...

Hi Tanantha, Wow, what a perfect picnic sandwich, I love how you made it on a baguette and sliced it, looks great like that! Great recipe for pesto, has many of my favorite herbs in there:-) What time is lunch?

Savory Sweet Living said...

I love a good chicken sandwich and yours looks awesome. The pesto I'm sure adds a great flavor. This looks yummy!

Lazaro Cooks! said...


Beautiful all the way around. Recipe, execution, photos.

I could have one now since it's lunch time here. Do you deliver?

Be Good!

mysimplefood said...

oh wow!! Yummy!! Yummy!! I think I may go healthy with sandwiches next week.

Marisa said...

Love this! It's a perfect meal to pack. It's such a well-constructed sandwich. Someone would have to be crazy not to just want to attack it. :)

Stella said...

Tanantha! You know how to make simple food look so wonderful. And, yes, chicken pesto sandwich does sound so good. Wish I could sneak one while no one was looking (smile);)!
By the way, I'm going to the organic farm tomorrow morning. I plan on getting the ingredients for what I now call 'Tanantha Salad'. If I get good pics, I'm going to post it. Are you okay with that-I just realized I might should ask (smile)??

Chef Dennis said...

now thats a great sandwich....the bread looks so very good, and your chicken perfectly done.....all the ingredients for a wonderful tasty sandwich! Pesto adds such a nice touch to sandwiches, I use to make a pesto hummus that I used on sandwiches. Hope all appreciated your efforts!

Anonymous said...

A terrific sandwich, super delicious with pesto!

Monet said...

There was a wonderful cafe in Denver that made the most amazing Chicken pesto sandwich...this post brought back some good memories! I am tempted to make one this weekend...the call of pesto and chicken is strong enough to make me put aside my vegetarian diet for just a bit!

Biren said...

Tanatha, that's a great looking sandwich. Enjoy your weekend!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

Tanantha, these sandwiches look so good! I love the contrasting colors and the bright pesto! And um, your pictures are absolutely stunning :)

Julie M. said...


This is a perfect sandwich! I'm a huge fan of pesto. I love the idea of sunflower seeds as well. That is definitely a brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing and for getting my mouth watering after reading about this beautiful creation.

Spicie Foodie said...

Your photos are making my stomach growl, I want one so bad now. Great recipe, as well as the other ones I missed. You have made me very hungry now:)

Cook with Madin said...

Great looking sandwich Tanantha. The roast chicken and the pesto combination they are just awesome. These makes me hungry. Great photos too.

Mo said...

Pesto was always my favorite sandwich spread!
My favorite sandwich used to be basil pesto spread on soft potato bread and topped with bologna. Bologna is a little weird now but oh, how yummy that was. :P

Pesto goes great with chicken, too, of course. ;) Your sandwich looks great! I'm jealous of your basil plant. :)

Magic of Spice said...

Beautiful sandwich, and all pesto is great in my book :)

Juliana said...

Wow, this chicken sandwich looks awesome...pesto and chicken, great combination!

Emily said...

Hi Tanantha,

Now I know who to invite if I ever go on a boat trip! :P I'm always up for a good sandwich like yours.

Pesto stays well at room temperature unlike mayo and other egg based dressing, so this would also make a great picnic food too!

Stella said...

Hey Tanantha, I kind of linked to you. It's not my official 'Tanantha link' but I thought I should tell you to make sure it's okay. Plus, I put a photo of the salad on FoodGawker and it was published as 'Tanantha Salad', so I thought I better tell you to make sure you're okay with it. I'm kind of late, huh?
Let me know when you're not busy;)
Your Stella

Mary said...

Oh, wow! Now that is one beautiful looking sandwich!!

Great blog; happy I found you!

Mary xo
Delightful Bitefuls

Tiffany said...

I absolutely LOVE this post! I am a huge fan of pesto, we made a ton of it this year and froze it in little packages so we can enjoy it all year. Making these sandwiches for sure!

Foodessa said... I am quickly having my measely fruit salad before getting ready for a crazy day ahead...and pop goes your pesto flavoured sandwich onto my screen. How dare you tempt me so early in the morning ;o)
I really like the fact that you added mint to it...I kind of had to let that herb go beacause Hubby can only handle mint in his Mojito...go figure!
BTW...I was very pleasantly surprised that my pesto inspired you and that you made a point to mention very sweet of you ;o)

Have a fabulous day,

Karolina said...

Tanantha! Everytime I drop by there is something deliscious on your website and it makes my mouth water! :) I am glad I've had my supper already.

Pesto is unbeatable and it can be made from many ingredients, I still look for a perfect one. :)

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

That is as close to sandwich divinity as I've ever seen! I love roasted chicken skin too - but try to avoid it. Love arugula pesto and I wish this gorgeous sandwich was my lunch!

Magdalena said...

Hello, Tanatha :)
This is one of my favorite sandwiches. When I am in Paris, and when I am too lazy, I always go to the Grand Epicerie de Paris, just to buy a similar one for lunch !
It looks great, like all your dishes.
Have a nice evening :)

Pretty. Good. Food. said...

Mmm, sounds delicious!

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