Chicken Ciabatta Sandwich with Lemon Garlic Aioli

A few years ago, Eric surprised me with a picnic. He had assembled some of our favorite food, secretly packed it in the car and took me for a drive that ended in a sweet summer picnic. It was pretty perfect. So I thought it was about time I reciprocate. Last Saturday I whipped up these simple, healthy sandwiches and with the addition of some fresh fruit, we had dinner. We chose to eat our little picnic on the water of Lake St. Clair, because let’s face it: You just can’t beat the view.

These sandwiches are filled with lightly marinated chicken breast, fresh spinach and some flavorful touches from the caramelized red onions and Lemon Garlic Aioli. The entire meal was ready within an hour and cost far less than a similar meal from Panera. Proof that simple home cooking can yield delicious results.

Ingredients: Makes 2 large sandwiches

  • 2 ciabatta rolls (found in the bakery aisle of the grocery store)
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup light balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 slices provolone cheese

Lemon Garlic Aioli:

  • 1/4 canola mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped

Preparation:

  1. To prepare the chicken, marinate 1 chicken breast in the balsamic vinaigrette in the fridge for about an hour
  2. Next, bake the chicken in a baking dish for about 30-45 minutes (depending upon thickness of chicken) in a 350 degree oven; set aside
  3. To caramelize the red onions, place the thinly sliced onions and olive oil in a small saucepan and let simmer over medium heat until onions are slightly browned and tender
  4. To prepare the aioli, combine all ingredients (mayo through tarragon) and immediately spread on halved ciabatta loaf
  5. Thinly slice the chicken breast and assemble sandwich by layering chicken, spinach, caramelized onions & provolone cheese
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