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.
- 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
- Cook the bacon in a frying pan at medium heat until crisp.
- 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.
- Remove the bacon and sauté the chicken in the same pan.
- Once the chicken is done, remove from heat.
- 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.
- Place in the oven at 400 degrees until the cheese begins to melt, approximately 3-5 minutes.
- Serve immediately.