RECIPE: Pesto Chicken, Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Sliders

In addition to yuletide cheer, the holiday season is generally associated with gift exchanges and absurd amounts of calorie consumption.  While I might not be able to assist you with last minute ideas like Lea Faminiano’s gift guide, here’s a quick recipe that is guaranteed to be a palate pleaser for even your pickiest colleague.

The Input

  • A container of basil pesto (check your local Italian or gourmet grocery store)
  • Three skinless chicken breasts
  • Two dozen sliced rolls (check your local bakery—I used brioche, multi-grain, & kalamata olive rolls from Lyon Bakery at Union Market)
  • Fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Thick-cut bacon (my preference is duck but turkey, pork, or beef works as well) cut into ¼ inch cubes
  • Two 16 oz. packages of whole milk mozzarella, cut into ¼-inch circles
  • Two 1 lbs. packages of baby heirloom tomatoes, cut into small chunks
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked pepper

The Algorithm

  1. Cook the bacon in a frying pan at medium heat until crisp.
  2. While the bacon is cooking, cut the chicken into small chunks and lightly season with sea salt, cracked pepper, and two-three tablespoons of basil pesto.  Each piece should be lightly coated with the mixture.
  3. Remove the bacon and sauté the chicken in the same pan.
  4. Once the chicken is done, remove from heat.
  5. Place the mozzarella onto the bun.  Next, top the mozzarella with a few pieces of tomato, chicken, bacon, and basil.  Then, spread some basil pesto on the top of the bun and make a sandwich.  Use a toothpick to keep the sandwich from separating.
  6. Place in the oven at 400 degrees until the cheese begins to melt, approximately 3-5 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately.

The Output