When I’m dining out, there’s no doubt my attention immediately goes to anything on a menu with the word “Caprese” in it. There’s something about the flavor combination of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil that make me feel like I could eat it morning, noon and night.
This weekend, I decided to make Grilled Chicken Caprese Sandwiches, which are a combination of the classic tomato salad and an ultimate grilled cheese.
The next day, the flavorful chicken hit the grill, and the tangy balsamic marinade caramelized on the outside of the juicy chicken breasts.
The French bread also got a toasty crust by rubbing it with chili oil and grilling it cut-side down for 3 to 4 minutes.
Once the grilling was done, the work moved back inside. I placed the chicken breast on the bottom slice of the French bread that had been cut in half length-wise and topped with fresh, sliced, juicy tomatoes and a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese.
Then, they went onto a baking sheet under the broiler of the oven until the cheese started to melt and turn golden brown. Top the cheese with balsamic glaze and a quick chiffonade of basil and you are in melty, gooey, caprese heaven!
Caprese Grilled Chicken Sandwiches
4 4- to 6-ounce chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
2 cups light balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1 12- to 16-inch loaf of French bread, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup chili oil or plain olive oil with crushed pepper flakes added
4 slices fresh tomato
8 small slices fresh mozzarella cheese (about 1/4-inch thick)
1/4 cup balsamic glaze (Here is my recipe if you want to make your own)
1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
The Day Before: Place chicken breast and balsamic vinaigrette dressing in a re-sealable plastic bag. Seal and shake gently to coat. Place bag on the bottom shelf of refrigerator overnight or for a minimum of 8 hours.
The Day Of: Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Remove chicken breast from marinade and place on grill. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through and internal temperature is 165 degrees. Remove from grill and cover with foil. Set aside. Discard any leftover marinade.
Brush bread with chili oil. Place on grill, cut-side down for about 4 minutes or until marked from grill and toasted to a golden brown. Turn off grill. Preheat oven broiler to high.
Cut bread into 3- to 4-inch sections. Place one chicken breast on each bottom half of bread. Top each breast with one tomato slice and two pieces of mozzarella cheese. Place under broiler for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted, a light golden brown and bubbly.
Remove from oven. Drizzle each sandwich with 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze. (Add more if you like.) Top with fresh chopped basil and top half of bun.
For more recipes visit wineandhotdish.com