One Chicken Sandwich, Many Ways

October 16, 2014

There are 3 million chicken recipes on the internet. We're here to show you the good ones. Win, win.

Today: A perfect chicken sandwich (and pesto, and caponata). Mix and match, or go all in.

Parmesan Pesto Chicken Sandwich with Caponata

This is the one outfit, many ways of chicken sandwich recipes, and here are the situations where you'll want to make it verbatim, or break it down into its component parts:

  • Make chicken sandwiches with just the pesto tonight -- it's enough. Add the caponata only if you find yourself with a little extra time and/or eggplant.
  • Next time, serve the same combo as chicken fingers with pesto for dunking and leave off the bread (or throw it on the table and let people tear from it).
  • Make just the caponata -- as a spread to snack on, or part of a mezze-style dinner, or a layer in something else (muffaletta? pizza? tart? lasagna?).
  • In its entirety, turn the sandwich into the quiet star of your next football Sunday, or pumpkin carving, or Halloween party -- kids and adults will find common ground here. Put it on long baguettes and cut them into any size you feel is appropriate.

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken, Caponata, and Pesto Sandwich by sdebrango

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Makes 2 large sandwiches


1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, stems removed
1 large clove garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano or Romano, divided
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus a little more if needed for the pesto, and more for coating the pan generously
6 chicken tenders or 3 thin chicken cutlets
1 cup panko
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs, beaten
1 short baguette or 2 crusty sandwich rolls


4 Italian eggplants
Olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
2 tender, inner stalks celery, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed, or 1 cup canned crushed tomato
4 Peppadew peppers, chopped (if you do not have these, use more of the red bell pepper)
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1/4 cup kalamata or green olives (or a little of each), pitted and roughly chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
Up to 2 teaspoons sugar (add 1 teaspoon, taste, and add another if needed)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by James Ransom

Is there an undiscovered Food52 chicken recipe you love? Send us a paragraph or two at [email protected] about why you love it, and it could be next week's Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.

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I'm an ex-economist, lifelong-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007, before returning to the land of Dutch Crunch bread and tri-tip barbecues in 2020. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."

1 Comment

AntoniaJames October 16, 2014
Nicely done (both of you!!) ;o)