As you can tell, we here at Brit are pretty excited there’s an entire month dedicated to the Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Let’s just say we’ve had no trouble celebrating. Our latest grilled cheese creation is courtesy of Jaymee Sire at e is for eat. She took a popular Italian dish and sandwiched it in a soft deli roll to get Chicken Parmesan Grilled Cheese. Buon Appetito!
For the tomato sauce:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 of a yellow onion, chopped
- 2-3 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
- pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- pinch of sugar (optional)
For the chicken:
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided use
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2/3 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
For the grilled cheese:
- Tomato sauce
- Cooked chicken
- Fontina cheese
- Deli Rolls
- Fresh Basil, ribboned
First, you’ll need a tomato sauce. If you’re in a pinch (or just really hungry), you can always use a good-quality jarred product, but making it at home is really easy. All you need to do is sauté the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until soft. Add the tomatoes, paste, red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning (crush the dried herbs in your hand to release oils). Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove lid and simmer a bit longer to allow sauce to thicken. (Some people recommend removing the tomato skins first, but I don’t find it necessary). Season with salt and do a taste test. If it seems a little too sour, add a little sugar.
To make the chicken, pound a chicken breast to about ¼ inch thickness and cut into pieces that are similar to the bread or roll you are using. (I found that one large chicken breast produced enough for two sandwiches.) Season both sides with salt and pepper.
To do the breading, you’ll need 3 shallow trays. In the first, combine flour and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. In the second, whisk egg and olive oil. In the third, combine bread crumbs, the other teaspoon of Italian seasoning and Parmesan. Dredge each piece in the flour, then the egg wash, then the breading and place on baking sheet lined with Parchment paper. (Alternatively, you could fry the chicken pieces, but baking is healthier). Bake at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, turning once. (Don’t overcook!)
From here…it’s just a matter of stacking and grilling! Butter each side of a deli roll, and stack with chicken, tomato sauce and cheese. Grill on medium-low heat until bread is toasty and cheese is melted. I like to wait until after grilling to add the fresh basil. Enjoy!!
Stay tuned for more magical ways to grill your cheese! And if you’ve got your own bag of grilled cheese tricks, leave us a note in the comments below.
Jaymee Sire is an Emmy-award winning sports reporter and anchor at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area in San Francisco. During baseball season, she covers the San Francisco Giants for CSN, and often anchors the network’s flagship show, SportsNet Central in the offseason. When she isn’t covering a sporting event, her true passion is food…whether it’s eating out or cooking at home. She writes a blog called E is for Eat, posting alphabet-themed recipes and restaurant reviews several times per week. She also contributes a weekly tailgate blog on csnbayarea.com called Authentic Eats.