"It's the company, not the cooking, that makes the meal!" ~Perilee 
(Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Slow Cooker Tuscan-Style Chicken Sandwiches

One afternoon I needed to find some good crockpot recipes to help me get through the meal times during soccer season when practice made it hard to have a meal on the table, homework completed, and kids in bed on a school schedule not a summer schedule. So I printed several to try. This was one of the first ones we put to the test. It did not disappoint us! We served it at a clinic staff party we held at our house. It received rave reviews then too. It is a 5 star recipe for me and many others. I give it stars for simplicity, flavor, and a time saving!

I can't readily find Foccia bread so I used Torta bread rolls from Costco and loved it! I have also roasted my own peppers from the garden. Both tasted well. I will say that the banana peppers vs red bell the major difference for me was by using the red it added a splash of color to the dish.
Slow Cooker Tuscan-Style Chicken Sandwiches

1 1/4 lb. (about 6) boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 gloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup roasted red bell pepper (from a jar), cut into bite-size strips
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons pesto (See Homemade recipe below)
Foccia (Italian flat bread) or Torta bread
Tomato Slices

1. Place chicken thighs in 3 1/2 or 4-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with garlic, roasted pepper strips and salt.
2. Cover; cook on Low setting for 6 to 7 hours.
3. Just before serving, remove chicken from slow cooker; place on large plate. Shred chicken with 2 forks; return to slow cooker and mix well.
4. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise and pesto; blend well. Cut focaccia into 6 wedges; split each in half. Spread cut sides with mayonnaise mixture. With slotted spoon, place about 1/3 cup chicken mixture onto bottom half of each focaccia wedge. Top each with tomato slice and top half of focaccia.
Makes 6 sandwiches

Make the Most of This Recipe With Tips From The Betty Crocker® Kitchens
Ingredient Info
Focaccia is a flat, round Italian bread with a dense texture that slices perfectly for sandwiches. Look for focaccia in the grocery store's bakery or deli, or stop by an Italian bakery.
Kitchen Tip
Freeze any remaining pesto to use on pasta or crostini, or to add a flavor-boost to sauce, soups, eggs and rice. Drop pesto in 1- to 2-tablespoon portions onto a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet; freeze until firm. Transfer the frozen pesto portions to a food storage freezer bag. Remove only what you need, then return the resealed bag to the freezer.

Nutrition Information:

1 Serving (1 Sandwich)Calories 460(Calories from Fat 225),Total Fat 25g(Saturated Fat 5g,),Cholesterol 65mg;Sodium 920mg;Total Carbohydrate 33g(Dietary Fiber 1g,Sugars 2g),Protein 26g;Percent Daily Value*:Exchanges:2 Starch;3 Lean Meat;3 Fat;Carbohydrate Choices:2 ;*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.


1/2 cup pinenuts*
2.5 oz Fresh Basil
1 clove garlic
5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)

Place in a food processor and processes all ingredients until texture is smooth and creamy.

*I have also used almonds, but the texture never turns smooth and creamy. It has bits of nuts in it, but still has a nice flavor. I have read that you can also make pesto with peanuts as well. I personally love the pinenut texture best.

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