Saturday, March 26, 2011

Grilled Ranch Chicken and Veggie Sandwiches

If you ever want a sandwich that is chalk full of veggies and chicken that's bursting with flavor, then you'll like this recipe.  I have never had carrots on a sandwich and wasn't sure how this would taste, but all my husband and I could say when we ate these was, "Mmmmmmmm...."  They were surprisingly delicious.  I am always on the lookout for great hot sandwiches.  I try to prepare one sandwich or wrap meal per week for dinner.  This is a version of a recipe I found in The Pampered Chef Casual Cooking cookbook.

The chicken itself can be served as a main dish if you do not want to make these sandwiches or if you just want the left-over chicken for leftovers.  I call it Ranch Chicken.  My husband and I cooked all the chicken, but only assembled 2 sandwiches for us.  I had the remaining chicken breast for lunches later in the week, while my husband made another sandwich for a lunch later in the week.

*4 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
*1 Tablespoon fat-free milk
*1 packet (1 oz.) dry ranch dressing mix, divided
*1 garlic clove, pressed
*4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
*8 slices sourdough bread (I buy the packaged kind)
*cooking spray
*2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
*2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
*1 carrot, shave
*1 cup alfalfa sprouts
*1 firm, ripe avocado, sliced

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, milk, 2 teaspoons of the Ranch dressing mix, and garlic.  Mix well and set aside in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches.

Prepare vegetables, and put in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the sandwiches.  

Place each chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper and flatten the chicken using a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin to 3/4-inch thick.

Heat a grill pan over medium heat until very hot.  Lightly spray one side of each bread piece with cooking spray.  Place the oiled sides down in the grill pan.  Cook 2-3 minutes or until toasted.  (You could also broil the bread on a cookie sheet until lightly toasted.)

Combine remaining Ranch dressing mix and flour in a small bowl.  Mix well with a pastry blender or fork.  Dip chicken pieces in the flour mixture on both sides, coating well.  Shake off the excess.  Lightly spray chicken pieces with cooking spray on both sides.

Place chicken in hot grill pan, and cook about 7 minutes per side until chicken is not longer pink in the middle.  Remove from pan.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread the cream cheese mixture onto the untoasted side of each bread slice.  On 4 of the slices, evenly layer tomato, chicken, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, and then avocado.  Top with the remaining bread slices and press firmly.  Slice sandwiches in half diagonally if desired.  Serve immediately.