Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Philly Chicken Sandwiches

Over the weekend we got a little hint that fall is not far off.  High temps were only in the mid-seventies, with lows dropping to somewhere in the forties.  My husband and I agree that this is perfect weather.  In fact, we would be happy if it stayed this way year round, however, we live in North Dakota, so that is NEVER going to happen.  Which means that we have to make the most of it while we can.  One way to enjoy the cool down is with a bonfire complete with hotdogs, roasted marshmallows and s'mores.

Okay, I have to be honest, I grilled hamburgers, too, because I'm not fond of hotdogs, and that's how I came to tonight's recipe.  We had leftover hotdog buns and I had to find a use for them.  My kids suggested bread dumplings but I wasn't up for the mess it takes to make those.  Initially, I had thought of Philly Cheesesteaks but didn't have the time to cook a beef roast mid-week.  Yes, I know I could use a crockpot but I just don't plan that far in advance.  So, last minute, I decided to vary a little and go with something that would cook quickly and shred easily:  chicken!

Here's your Cast of Characters.

Hot dog or hoagie buns
2 - 3 Large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Small package dry Italian dressing mix, divided
Sprinkling of black pepper
1 1/2 Cups Tuscany chicken broth (or regular chicken broth seasoned with thyme, rosemary and basil)
1 Large or 3 small onions
3/4 Cup deli sliced mild banana pepper rings and 1/4 cup marinade, divided
1 Yellow sweet bell pepper, cut into strips
Drizzle of olive oil (not pictured)
1/2 Cup real mayo (not Miracle Whip or salad dressing)
Sliced provolone cheese

Place chicken breasts in a large, non-stick skillet and sprinkle with half of the Italian dressing and a dash of pepper.

Add chicken broth, 1 small onion chopped (or 1/3 large onion), 1/4 cup banana pepper rings and 1/4 cup marinade from peppers.

Cover, turn to medium heat and cook for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.  Meanwhile, in a separate non-stick skillet, cut remaining onions into thin wedges and saut√©  on medium heat with yellow and banana peppers drizzled with about a tablespoon of olive oil.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and open buns onto it.  With your fingers, flatten the centers of the top and bottom buns to make a slight well for the toppings.

Next, in a small bowl combine mayo and remaining Italian dressing mix.

Stir well and set aside.

Once, onions and peppers have softened up and started to brown, turn to low heat.

When chicken is done, place buns in the oven to toast while you shred the chicken breasts.  Place chicken back in the skillet along with the broth to keep warm.

Pull buns from the oven and spread with seasoned mayo.

Place a heaping helping of chicken on the mayo side.

Top the other  side with peppers and onions, then a slice of provolone.

Place back in the oven, now turned to a low broil, until cheese starts to melt, about 2 - 3 minutes.

Fold those fat sandwiches over and serve immediately.