Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Philly Cheese Chicken Sandwiches

Can you all believe it's almost October?! It just feels like September has flown by and we've been super busy around here. I've done several things that I want to post on the blog, but instead of sharing them with y'all, I end up moving on to another project or chore and the blog falls to the back burner. I've got a few recipes, house things and crafts that I've worked on recently, plus a plan for completely redoing our piano room, and I've got even more recipes and projects that I want to work on in the next few weeks!

Sometimes I just feel like there are way to many thoughts, ideas and plans in my head and I get a little overwhelmed. I hate to admit it, but a portion of my work day is spent looking at design and cooking blogs and day dreaming about things I want to work on when I get home. Almost every day, I make a "to do" list of chores and projects to work on when my work day is through. More times than not, I leave the list at work, but I still leave feeling motivated and excited to actually work on things I like and want to, as opposed to what I have to work on all day. Then after sitting in traffic for 45 minutes, I'm half asleep and not quite as inspired :(  My evenings do typically end up being productive, they just don't always include blog posts like I'd hoped. So without further ado, here is a sandwich recipe that I made a couple weekends ago for lunch/early dinner.

I've realized that if I'm going to make a recipe for the blog, I need to do it during the daylight hours in order to get good pictures. So I made these around lunch time, and ended up giving a few to our neighbor since he let Joe use the core aerator that he'd rented for his yard. This recipe came from a blog called How Sweet It Is. I thought it sounded like something that Joe would like so it went on my "things to make" list. It was pretty simple to make and it could be made even simpler by using a precooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. The best part was definitely the white cheddar sauce, which I'm thinking I might make for mac and cheese sometime. The sandwiches were pretty good, but not excellent. I would have assembled them a little better, and maybe seasoned them a little more. The cheese sauce really was the best part :) Here's the recipe!

Philly Cheese Chicken Sandwiches
From "How Sweet It Is" blog

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (I bought bone-in, skin-on and just trimmed them)
2 T. olive oil
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 green pepper, sliced
1 sweet onion, sliced
8 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated
1/2 T. unsalted butter
1/2 T. flour
2/3 c. half and half
additional salt and pepper to taste
6 sub rolls

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a large, oven safe skillet over medium high heat on the stove. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Trim the skin off the chicken thighs and season thighs with salt and pepper. Place the thighs in the skillet and sear on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.

Once seared, cover the skillet and place in the oven to roast the chicken for 15 minutes. When finished, remove and let cool slightly. Reduce the oven heat to 300 degrees, then shred the chicken and set aside.

This was the bowl of bones and scraps.  I know that it looks like there is lots of usable meat in there, but I HATE picking chicken off the bone.

While the chicken is roasting, heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the peppers and onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 6-8 minutes until the veggies are soft, but not caramelized.

For the cheese sauce, heat the butter in small sauce pan over medium heat until it is sizzling. Whisk in the flour to create a roux and cook until it is light brown in color and smells slightly nutty, about 2 minutes. Add the half and half and stir until the mixture is bubbling and thickened. Reduce the heat to low and add about 5 ounces of the shredded cheese (leave the remaining 3 ounces set aside) and whisk until melted and smooth.

This is the light brown roux.

To assemble the sandwiches, lay each sub roll on its own square of foil.  Make sure the foil squares will be big enough to wrap a stuffed sandwich, mine were a little on the small side. Then this is where I would do things a little differently. The recipe said to layer chicken, then cheese sauce, then veggies, then shredded cheese. I would put some shredded cheese in first, then mix the chicken and veggies together before laying them in the sandwich, then top with the cheese sauce before TIGHTLY wrapping the sandwich. The problem with all the different layers is that you don't get all the flavors in each bite. And nobody wants that! :)

Once you're sandwiches are assembled,  place them on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Then enjoy!

I really think these would be just as good with rotisserie chicken and it would be a lot easier!

I guess that's it for tonight. Time to go finish my to do list (that I'm doing from memory since I left it at work). Why do I always save the worst chores for last, and why does folding/putting away laundry have to be so awful?! Have a great rest of the week, and Happy Birthday to Joe's Mom, (today) and my Mimi (tomorrow)! May your birthdays not involve any folding and putting away of laundry :)

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