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.
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
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!