CHICKEN PROSCIUTTO SANDWICH
4 chicken breasts
1 cup aioli sauce
6 ounces mozzarella
1 Roma tomato
4 sesame-seed hamburger buns
1 cup bread crumbs
8 slices proscuitto
4 lettuce leaves
3 cookie or baking sheets
Takes 1 hour 40 minutes. Makes 4 sandwiches.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Flatten chicken breasts with kitchen mallet. Add chicken breasts and aioli sauce to large mixing bowl. Turn chicken breasts by hand until chicken is thoroughly coated. Put in refrigerator and marinate for 1 hour.
While chicken marinates, cut mozzarella and tomato into 4 slices each. After marinating, add bread crumbs to 2nd mixing bowl. Place a mozzarella slice on each hamburger-bun top. Remove chicken breasts from 1st mixing bowl, saving the remaining aioli sauce. Dredge chicken breasts through bread crumbs until they are completely coated. Spray 1st cookie sheet with no-stick spray. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. (You will be adding two more cookie sheets after 13 minutes.)
While chicken is baking, place parchment paper on 2nd cookie sheet. Place proscuitto on top of parchment paper. Place all hamburger bun halves, including the ones with cheese, on 3rd cookie sheet. After the chicken has baked for 13 minutes, add the proscuitto and the cheese-covered buns to the oven. Continue baking for another 7 minutes or until chicken crumbs are golden brown, proscuitto is starting to become crispy, and the cheese on the buns has melted.
Spread saved aioli sauce on hamburger-bun bottoms. Place lettuce leaf on bottom hamburger bun. Put chicken breast on lettuce leaf, then add 2 prosciutto slices. Complete with cheese covered hamburger-bun top.
1) Have chicken prosciutto sandwiches always been round?
2) No! Prior to the siege of Picanza, Italy by Napoleon’s troops in 1813, they were triangular. The Picanzans found that shape easy to hold while eating.
3) The triangular sandwiches were also deadly weapons in the hands of the town’s ninjas, particularly after the snack had hardened from being left out in the hot Italian Sun for two weeks.
4) Oh! Don’t forget to go to Picanza’s annual Ninja Chicken Prosciutto Sandwich Toss Festival every April 1. Teams from all over the world compete for the Golden Sandwich Trophy, although Italy and Japan have done all the winning. Be sure to get out of the way of the tosses!
4) The odor from two-week old prosciutto often drove away invading armies just by itself. Well, at least until 1767 when it became standard for armies to carry pumpkin-spiced incense sticks.
5) But in 1813, the clever Napoleon constantly moved his troops upwind from the city. The gale forces winds of that summer continually blew the chicken-prosciutto-sandwich-death triangles back into the city whey dealt widespread carnage among the cafe drinkers. To this day, Picanzans always drink their espresso inside.
6) It looked bad for the Picanzans. The French would fire cannon balls into the city. The Picanzans unable to hurl their hardened sandwich resorted to making scary faces at the besiegers. It was an unequal struggle.
7) Thank goodness for the annual Bowling Ball Festival. Unlike most bowling festivals, this one took place on the precipitous Strada Ripido. Why was it held on such a steep street? The competitors used Parmesan wheels as bowling balls and those 200 pound rounds are heavy. Francesco Poblano suggested they crush the French army by rolling Parmesan cheese at them. The mayor said, “Are you crazy! How will we make eggplant Parmesan?” The ever-clever Franceso said, “Why not make our chicken prosciutto sandwiches round. That way, when they don’t get eaten, we can roll the hardened sandwiches down our steep hills and crush the French down below.”
8) The mayor and other notables proclaimed Francesco a genius and erected a statue in his honor made of bread crumbs and eggs. That statue is still there.
9) Anyway, the Picanzans rolled chicken-prosciutto sandwiches dried out to death dealing hardness at Napoleon’s forces. The bowled over French fled the surrounding hill in terror. Napoleon suffered an irreversible blow to his prestige. Nations all over Europe took courage from his humiliation and rose up against him, swamping the French armies by sheer force of numbers.
10) By 1815, the once great French emperor was exiled to the remote island of St. Helena, where he eked out a tenuous living selling French-style hot dogs out of a vending cart.
11) Oh! Don’t forget to go to Picanza, Italy for its annual Bowling Ball Festival. It’s exciting, particularly if you watch the event at the bottom of Strada Ripido. I suggest paying extra for seats at the top of the steep road.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.