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Smoked Mozzarella and Chicken Sandwiches with Italian Barbecue Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped

  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated

  • One can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (14.5 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Salt and pepper

  • 4 pieces skinless, boneless chicken breast, each halved horizontally into 2 cutlets

  • 12 thin slices smoked mozzarella cheese (1-pound ball)

  • 2 cups loosely packed baby arugula

  • 1/2 cup basil leaves (10-12), shredded or torn

  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread, split lengthwise and cut into 4 pieces


Pre-heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. In a medium saucepan, heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock and heat through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and lots of pepper. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 7-8 minutes. Drizzle the chicken with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Cook on the grill pan, turning once, for 6 minutes. Remove from the pan and layer one chicken piece with two mozzarella slices, another chicken piece and another mozzarella slice. Repeat three more times to make four double-decker chicken stacks. Tent with foil for 1 minute to soften the mozzarella cheese. Combine the arugula and basil. Pile one-quarter of the greens on each of the four bottom pieces of ciabatta. Pile the chicken stacks on top, then cover with the barbecue sauce and bread tops.