Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chicken, Kale, Mushroom, and Cheese French Bread Sandwich

Do you ever just want something easy to make for dinner to compensate for lack of easy in your life?  I have my hand raised over here.  My weeks have been passing at warp speed, yet I still like to fix something for dinner I know we can sit down and enjoy together.  That is always a challenging task I might add considering my families diet seems to change on a daily basis.  

My normal self would say why not a six hour braised rack of something, but the saner version of me said, "How about just throwing everything into one delicious package!"  I kind of like her, I should probably listen to her more often.  I'm thinking she has a lot going on in the common sense department.

My mom always made a stuffed French bread sandwich for us with a ground, beef, spinach, and bread stuffing. My daughter really likes that version, but my husband insisted on grilling some steaks this weekend and he can only have so much beef (that is a seriously long story) so I decided to re-vamp the sandwich in a healthier way.

I was trying to sneak the mushrooms past my daughter, but she saw one and it was over.  I'm telling you, I'm thinking I'm just going to walk out to the curb and start giving away dinner to passer-byers instead of the rough regular customers I have.  If you share the same mushroom aversion as my daughter, feel free to leave them out.    

Chicken, Kale, Mushroom, and Cheese French Bread Sandwich
3 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small package baby portabella mushrooms or about 8, sliced
1 bunch kale, leaves only, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 pound chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 ounces Monterey jack cheese, diced 1/2"
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons brown mustard
1 loaf ciabatta bread or a regular French loaf

1.  Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

2.  Add 1/2 the oil to a large skillet and heat on medium-high heat for a minute or so and add the chopped onions. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes until onions are starting to look translucent.  Add the garlic, stir and cook for an additional minute.  Add the mushroom, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add the kale and stir and cook until the kale is wilted.  Stir in the salt, pepper, and thyme and place the whole mixture on a plate.

3.  Place the skillet back on the heat, add the remainder of the oil and the chicken and cook until browned on both sides, about 4-5 minutes, you could also sprinkle the chicken with a little more salt and pepper at this point.  You don't need to cook the chicken through since you are going to cook it longer in the oven. Add the vegetables back to the skillet and add the cheese, stir until all the ingredients are combined. Remove from the heat and set aside.

4.  Cut the top off of the bread and remove the insides.  (I just set it aside for my daughter, turned out to be a good call).  In a small bowl combine butter and mustard and spread this mixture on the inside of the bread including the inside of the top piece.  Fill the bread with the chicken mixture.  Don't add all the liquid in the pan or the bread might get soggy.  Place the top piece of bread back on the sandwich.

5.  Wrap the whole sandwich in foil and place directly on the oven rack and bake for 40-45 minutes.

6.  Unwrap the sandwich and slice with a serrated knife.

You can easily get 4 good sized sandwiches.

I thought it was better than the original and healthier for sure; you will have to be the judge and let me know.




  1. This is one delicious sandwich. And I love kale in it :)

  2. Gina,
    I love the updated version of your sandwich, so yummy and full of good stuff,like kale. My kids didn't like mushrooms either, I think it's the texture. They love them now.

    1. Becky, feel free to come over and join us I'm sure my daughter would hand over all the mushrooms to you.

  3. I don't even have to taste it to know that it's delicious. Regarding the mushrooms, I'll take your daughter's share and then some. Gina, it looks amazing.

  4. Yes, I definitely want easy dinners (especially if I've been baking all day)! Love the mushrooms, this looks like a winner!

  5. Love this idea of dinner in a sandwich- let me know when you're serving and i'll walk past your house, lol!
    Have a wonderful weekend Gina!

  6. O yes, love the chicken and kale topping! The sandwich looks yummilicious, Gina.

  7. I think our passion for cooking drives us to challenge ourselves and we believe this translates into making elaborate every night. To your point, we should listen to the saner part of who we are and simplify things a bit. Your mom was onto something with this french bread sandwich: healthy, filling, and pleasing to all (minus the mushrooms of course). Have a great weekend, Gina!

    1. Lisa, I think that sums it up perfectly. Thanks.

  8. My hand was raised too - but it was trying to reach for the sandwich your daughter didn't want. :D This looks scrumptious!!

    I think aversion to mushrooms is just a phase. When I was little, I couldn't stand the little fungi - now I put them on everything (almost).

  9. Hand raised over here too! I have been cooking large meals that we can enjoy for two days, luckily hubby never complains. This sandwich is one we would both love and could eat several days in a row. We don't have the mushroom aversion, in fact double would be great.:) Thanks for sharing Gina. Have a great and relaxing weekend!:) xx

  10. Great looking sandwich! I'll have your daughter's mushrooms - I love them! We do have sandwiches for dinner sometimes, but I haven't tried anything like this. But I will! ;-) Good stuff - thanks.

  11. These sandwiches look so good! Sometimes I feel like looking for passersby who will eat my food, too...

  12. Raising my hand - the easier the better (still has to be reasonably healthy though)! You do have some tough customers. We all like mushrooms in my house, some of us more than others my husband likes to remind me :P Hope you had a fun and relaxing weekend!

  13. Nah, definitely keeping the mushrooms in. You'd pay a fortune for this gourmet sandwich in a GastroPub - or rustle it up in no time at home.

    If you are giving these to passers-by, I'm joining that queue!

  14. It is so funny because my son used to pick the mushrooms out of any dish...
    The sandwich looks great, and for sure I would keep the mushrooms in...great dinner!
    Have a lovely week Gina :)

  15. I want this for lunch now. Looks really good, I love mushrooms all the time even on sandwiches.