I LOVE sandwiches; I love them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. What I love about them is there are no rules. Unlike most pastries and traditional cuisines, sandwiches can be made however you want, with whatever you want, as long as something is sandwiched between two pieces of something or laying on a piece of something … preferably freshly baked or toasted bread. Think of all the possibilities! Growing up in my parents’ household, sandwiches were a staple. In Lebanon, my breakfast and lunch would consist of labneh, or some sort of cheese, or even za’atar sandwiches with tomatoes, cucumbers, mint, and olives, all wrapped in pita bread (Lebanese style). I remember my dad ‘s AMAZING sandwiches that he continues to make on a daily basis. He uses all kinds of Lebanese, Greek, Italian, and French cheeses and cured meats with all kinds of vegetables, herbs, pickles, and extra virgin olive oil or European butter, depending on the ingredients of the sandwich, and places each layer delicately in freshly baked and lightly toasted small French baguettes. DELICIOUS!!
For this recipe, I had leftover marinated chicken breasts from a dinner party I hosted the night before. So, I decided to oven roast them, and use them as the main protein in a sandwich or two. The marinade consisted of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, orange juice, orange zest, little turmeric, coriander, fresh thyme, salt, and freshly ground pepper. I baked the chicken breasts in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 35 – 45 minutes. I let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes, before I did anything else with it.
OVEN ROASTED CHICKEN AND AVOCADO SANDWICH WITH SUNDRIED TOMATO SPREAD
2 Baguettes or loaves of Ciabatta Bread
2 marinated and oven roasted Chicken Breasts
2 Kumato Tomatoes
2 cups Baby Spinach – loosely packed
1/4 cup Cilantro leaves
1/2 – 1 cup Sundried Tomato spread – recipe below
Freshly ground Black Pepper
SUNDRIED TOMATO SPREAD
3/4 cup Sundried Tomatoes* – packed in oil preferrably
1/3 cup Olive Oil Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 clove Garlic
2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch of Sea Salt
10 grinds fresh Black Pepper
*If you choose to use loosely packed sundried tomatoes, make sure you rehydrate them first, by placing them in VERY hot water for a few minutes, before you drain them and blend them with the rest of the ingredients.
Start with the sundried tomato spread by placing all the ingredients in a good blender, and blend them well. I like my spread to have little tiny bits of sundried tomatoes left in it for a little bit of texture. Remove the sundried tomato spread from the blender into a bowl, cover, and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes for the flavors to adequately integrate.
Slice the chicken breasts, tomatoes, and avocados into medium slices, and place them to the side. Slice the baguettes or ciabatta loaves lengthwise, and spread the sundried tomato spread on one or both sides of the bread. Start by layering the spinach, followed by the chicken, tomatoes, and avocado slices on each loaf. Top the sandwiches with salt, pepper, and cilantro leaves. Finish with a generous squeeze of lemon juice for extra freshness, and to keep the avocado slices from oxidizing and turning brown. Slice each sandwich down the middle, and serve with Salt and Vinegar chips (my favorite) or a side salad, if you so choose. Again, since there are no rules for sandwiches, you may omit, replace, or add anything you prefer to this edible creation. I just hope you enjoy your sandwich!