This sandwich takes a cue from the classic Italian-American deli. According to TODAY’s culinary producer Katie Stilo, “This recipe is my childhood all wrapped up in a bun. I grew up going to my local Italian deli every Sunday with my dad. Walking in, you were consumed by the smell of bread, mountains of freshly made mozzarella and an overwhelming deli case full of Italian specialties. There was no doubt this was the sandwich I was getting. The layers of crispy chicken cutlets with fresh mozz and roasted red peppers would call my name.”
It’s the balsamic spread that really takes this sandwich to the next level, though. A simple combination of mayonnaise, balsamic vinegar, garlic, grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley not only lends creaminess to the sandwich, but provides even more savory flavor with just a touch of tang. It’s well worth making a double batch of the spread. Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week and use it on burgers, dollops on grilled meat and fish and even as a dipping sauce for roasted potatoes.
Your bread choice is crucial, too. The recipe calls for Portuguese rolls or soft hero roll and soft is key. Anything that is too firm and crusty will compete with the crispy breaded chicken cutlets and make for a more difficult eating experience, which is never a good thing when it comes to sandwiches. Soft ciabatta rolls are also a great choice if you can’t find Portuguese or hero rolls.
For the balsamic spread:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well until combine. Keep in fridge until ready to use.
For the chicken cutlets:1.
Preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom.2.
Meanwhile, set up a breading station with flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs. Season flour with salt and pepper.3.
Dredge cutlets in flour then eggs and finally breadcrumbs, pressing firmly to ensure they adhere evenly. Place on a rimmed baking sheet while you repeat the process with the remaining cutlets.4.
Once oil is hot, add chicken in batches. Cook about 4 to 5 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove from skillet and let cool on a paper towel lined plate.
For the sandwich:1.
Start by spreading balsamic spread on both sides of the roll.2.
Add 2 chicken cutlets, slightly overlapping them to fit.3.
Top with half of the sliced mozzarella, 1/4 cup of roasted red peppers and 1/2 cup of baby arugula. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with top bun and firmly press sandwich to close.