So when Food Network teamed up with Sargento to do the Chopped at Home challenge, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to recreate this sandwich. I buy a lot of local cheeses, but I also love Sargento and their artisanal cheese wedges. I also like their commercials about how they are "real cheese people"... that cheese slices shouldn't come wrapped in plastic and I couldn't agree more!
Shredded cheese for a grilled cheese sandwich can get a little messy, but it's the best way to get all of those Italian flavors without tons and tons of cheese. Some other big differences between my sandwich and Melt's is that the chicken just has a light breading instead of being fried and the sauce is for dipping (kind of like tomato soup) because I hate, hate, hate soggy bread (can't have condiments of any sort actually touching the bread, ew). With the garlic butter, the bread ends up becoming garlic bread, so this really is a complete Italian meal without the pasta. Buon Appetito!
1 chicken breast
2 bell peppers
1 cup Italian cheese blend
.25 cup greek yogurt
4 slices of bread (like sourdough or rustic sweet)
12 oz canned tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp bread crumbs
salt and pepper
1. Cut bell peppers in half, place on a cookie sheet, and into the oven on broil for 15 minutes (then flip and broil 10 minutes more).
2. Combine canned tomatoes with some salt and pepper in a sauce pot on medium heat. If you have an immersion blender, blend the tomatoes in the pot, otherwise use a potato masher.
3. Heat pan to medium heat. Place chicken breast on parchment paper, sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper, and bread crumbs, fold parchment paper over the chicken and pound it to about half inch in thickness. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the hot pan and add the chicken. Cook about 3 minutes per side.
4. Remove peppers from oven and carefully peel off the skin. If you have an immersion blender, add the peppers to the pot with the tomatoes and blend together. If you don't have an immersion blender, chop the peppers up into small chunks and add to the tomatoes.
5. Combine butter and minced garlic together. Add one tablespoon of garlic butter to medium heat pan, add bread, flip bread immediately so both sides are buttered. Cook the "inside" side of the bread for one minute. Flip bread, add cheese to both sides, add half of the chicken breast. When the cheese melts then smash the sandwich together and finish grilling the sandwich.
6. Finish off the tomato-pepper dipping sauce with a little yogurt and basil. Serve along side the sandwich... or on top if you want to fork and knife it! :)