My husband makes the BEST sandwiches.
Sure, it takes him roughly fifty minutes to take his final creation from craving to plate, but even my most impatient, hungriest self will attest that it is worth the wait.
Whenever sandwiches are on the menu, I hand over my apron and Mr. Pedantic takes temporary ownership of the kitchen.
That said, when he is away and the sandwich cravings hit, I am left to practice my own sandwitchery.
I will preface this recipe by saying that this is not really the kind of sandwich that I would make for lunch, at least not on a weekday.
This is a dinner sandwich, if you will. It’s not difficult, but there are a fair number of steps to creating this most perfect stack of flavors. This is a Monday night dinner, or an eat on the patio (I know it’s March but a girl can dream) situation.
That said, you could totally prep a few of these elements in advance if you wanted to be able to throw it together for lunch.
First, we are going to make the most delicious basil and sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. It is so fresh and so full of flavor. I am already planning on pouring it over pasta and grilled chicken this summer.
Next, we are going to take a few thinly-sliced, skinless chicken breasts and cover them in blackening spice before giving them a good sear.
We cannot forget about the bread if we are going to make a truly perfect sandwich! I used sourdough here, but ciabatta buns would be excellent too. I brush them with olive oil and toast them under the broiler until crisp.
Then, to add even more flavor and spice, I like to cut a garlic clove in half and rub it over the insides of the toast.
Pretend like you are making yourself a slice of avocado toast by mashing a few slices of nature’s butter on one side of your bread.
Now, we layer.
Our mashed avocado toast is topped with the blackened chicken and fresh mozzarella before being drenched in our vinaigrette. The final slice of garlic toast finishes our creation.
Is it a piece of art or a sandwich? Both. Definitely both.
And just like that the title for sandwich champion is back up in the air in our house.
It’s messy, it’s packed with flavor, it’s crispy and creamy - it’s dinner.
Blackened Chicken Sandwiches
with Basil & Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette
makes four sandwiches
for the blackening spice
spice recipe adapted from Genius Kitchen
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Combine all spices in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork. Set aside for later use.
for the vinaigrette
1 large handful fresh basil
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 clove garlic
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine basil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, sea salt, and lemon juice in the work bowl of your food processor. Pulse several times, until the garlic and basil are in fine pieces.
With the food processor running, slowly stream in the olive oil, until the vinaigrette comes together and all of the olive oil is worked in.
Transfer the vinaigrette to a small pitcher and set aside while you prepare the sandwich.
for the sandwiches
4 boneless, skinless thinly sliced chicken breasts
prepared blackening spice
8 1/2-inch slices sourdough bread
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced in half
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 medium ripe avocado, sliced
Set your oven to the broiler setting and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour a bit of olive oil into a small bowl and use a pastry brush to coat each slice of bread with a layer of olive oil.
Toast the bread under the broiler until very crisp and golden brown. Rub the bottom side of each slice of toast with the cut clove of garlic.
Pour your prepared blackening spice onto a paper plate and rub each piece of chicken in the blackening spice, coating both sides.
Pour about 1/2 tablespoons olive oil into a large, nonstick frying pan. Place the pan over medium high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the first two chicken breasts to the pan and cook until well browned. Flip and cook on the opposite side. Once the chicken has been browned on both sides and has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, remove from heat and set aside.
Add a bit more olive oil to the pan and cook the remaining two chicken breasts.
To assemble the sandwiches, lay several slices of avocado over four slices of toast (garlic side-up) and mash with a fork. Top with a piece of the blackened chicken and several slices of mozzarella. Drizzle with the prepared vinaigrette and top each with a second slice of toast. Serve immediately.