Did you guys watch Food Network Star this past season? I am obsessed with Food Network. It is my go-to channel. If I don’t like what is on Food Network (which is rare) I turn on HGTV. If there is nothing on HGTV I try to find an episode of Hoarders! I just cannot get enough of Chopped and House Hunters though. Especially House Hunters International! So addicting. I just can’t stop watching. This is the first season that we have gotten into the Food Network Star show. I think after the 2nd episode Cliff and I picked our favorites. I picked Susie Jimenez and Cliff picked Jeff Mauro. And do you know who the final 2 contestants were? Susie Jimenez and Jeff Mauro! Jeff Mauro won, in case you don’t know. Cliff and I watched his show a few times and it was pretty interesting especially since he is a local guy, from Elmwood Park. He would feature some restaurants that we had been to and he really highlighted Chicago food. Luckily, his show has been renewed.
There were quite a few recipes from his show that we wanted to try but these chicken vesuvio sandwiches really stood out. We made them a few weeks ago and with a few minor changes and we really enjoyed them. We will definitely be making them again. This is a perfect recipe to make ahead if you are having a dinner party. Just keep everything warm in the oven and then assemble just before you are ready to eat. We felt that eating this as a sandwich was just a bit too much. I couldn’t even fit the whole thing in my mouth, so instead we served them open faced which worked out really well. Instead of doing mayo and cheese we just used a creamy cheese. It worked out really well. We also did not include the potatoes in our sandwich, but I am sure they would make a great side. Again, we will definitely be making these sandwiches regularly!
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 chicken breasts, pounded thin or butterflied and cut into strips
2 cups flour
salt and pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Peas and Mushrooms:
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced thinly
salt and pepper
1 pound frozen green peas
1 loaf French bread
Spreadable cheese, such as brie
For the chicken: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and coat in flour. Fry the chicken in the oil until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side, depending on thickness. You want the chicken to be cooked all the way through. Place in a roasting pan and keep warm in the oven.
For the chicken jus: In the same skillet as the chicken sauté the Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, garlic and shallots until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and bring to a simmer. I used cooking wine but if you have it you should use real wine. I never seem to have real wine when I need it! Add chicken stock and lemon juice and bring to a simmer again, about 10 minutes until the flavor intensifies. Keep warm for sandwich build.
For the peas and mushrooms: Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the mushrooms. Get them nice and brown and season with salt and pepper. Just before you are ready to make your sandwiches add the frozen peas. Heat about 1 minute and remove pan from heat.
For the sandwich build: Cut the bread into pieces about 4 inches long. Cut each piece open. You can leave it hinged or cut it all the way though. We preferred these sandwiches open faced. Spread a little cheese on the bread. Put a few pieces of chicken, a few spoonfuls of mushrooms/peas and then add the sauce. Serve immediately.
Source: Adapted from Jeff Mauro