Mark you calendars, and definitely mark this lunchtime favourite! In 2008, the province of Ontario joined forces with Alberta and Saskatchewan to create a February holiday known as Family Day. The Family Day Act was passed to allow Canadians from certain provinces the opportunity to enjoy a nice break between New Year’s and Easter, while emphasizing the importance of family time. This year, Family Day will be celebrated on Monday February 19 in Ontario. Playing board games, scavenger hunts with the kiddies, ice skating, watching movies and lots of laughter are just of few of the precious moments shared when my family and I make a commitment to get together on this day. We cook together, share recipes, and eat delicious grilled chicken served on freshly baked Brioche Buns, with sweet peppers on the side. Cooking, sharing and eating good food are also a major source of joy on our action packed Family Day!
Let’s Talk Sandwiches: The Basics
Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Ozery Bakery. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that encourage my work and creativity, and that keep me cooking!
The knowledge we have gained in exploring cuisines of the world, new ingredients available to us in supermarkets, and the widespread availability of good bread of all types including freshly baked Brioche Buns, have combined to make it possible to create new, beautiful sandwiches and remodel old ones, often with a superior nutritional profile. And let’s not forget “the extras,” real, organic ingredients served as additions that can make a sandwich special: grated vegetables, torn-up herbs, caramelized onion or shallots, minced scallion, capers, black olive or artichoke paste, pesto sauces, and oven-dried tomatoes, just to name a few. Kale and arugula are great tasting, sturdy greens that provide both flavour and texture to a sandwich. Lettuce offers little in the way of taste.
Fillings are no longer limited to deli meats in which vegetables play no role, and, even aside from the obvious – grilled, roasted, or fried meat or chicken, the list of fillings is almost infinite. You can put nearly anything you want in a sandwich, as long as it isn’t too wet or too dry; wet fillings or toppings make for one soggy sandwich. Roasted or grilled vegetables of all types, healthy sauteed greens with olive oil, avocado or guacamole, sweet potato, beans, falafel, fish fillets and shrimp, are part of an ever growing list of delicious foods made for a gourmet style sandwich experience.
Tips for Cooking Boneless Chicken Breasts: The Basics
Boneless chicken breasts can be cooked in minutes using any number of techniques: on top of the stove in a skillet or wok (they’re ideal for stir-fries), in the oven, under a broiler, or on a grill. They can be cooked with little or no added fat, and they can take almost any seasoning. Care must be taken to not overcook them or they will become tough and dry. When cooking boneless chicken breasts, use bold flavourings! Marinate if there’s time and keep the cooking time very short, as little as six minutes for one-half-inch-thick boneless chicken breasts.
When it comes to grilling or broiling chicken breasts, you don’t have to build a killer fire, or preheat your broiler for half an hour. You should however, grill or broil them fairly close to the heat source, which will enable you to brown the outside of the chicken while keeping the inside moist.
Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich with Herb Marinade
Easy to cook, juicy, gourmet chicken sandwich!
For the herb marinade:
- 6 boneless, skinless, organic chicken breast fillets
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (or substitute with ½ tablespoon garlic powder)
- ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
- A pinch of ground coriander
- 4 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme (or whatever you have on hand)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
For the sandwich:
- 1 – 2 packs pre-sliced, thin Brioche Buns
- Clean and dry the chicken and place in a resealable container. Combine the ingredients using a blender or a food processor. Pour the marinade over the chicken to coat. Cover and let marinate 2 – 3 hours.
- Preheat the grill to medium heat. Place the chicken on the grill and grill each side for about 4 – 6 minutes depending on thickness, until cooked through.
Tips for Serving:
Throw some sliced zucchini on the grill to serve as an addition. Kale and arugula are also great tasting, sturdy greens that provide both flavour and texture to a sandwich. Your list of additions can also include: torn-up herbs, caramelized onion or shallots, minced scallion, capers, black olive or artichoke paste, pesto sauces, and oven-dried tomatoes, just to name a few.