Brined & grilled chicken breast sandwich with romesco sauce

Pairs with our Pinot Noir

  • 6 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1 gallon water
  • ½ cup salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Focaccia-type bread cut into 6 portions and split to have top and bottom halves
  • 6 large lettuce leaves, washed and dried
  • Romesco sauce (see recipe included below)

Fill a large plastic container with the water. Add the salt and the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the minced garlic, the rosemary and the pepper. Place the chicken breasts into the brining liquid and then cover and place the container into a refrigerator. Brine chicken for at least 3 hours, or over night.

Place some paper towels onto a baking sheet covered with foil. Remove chicken from brining liquid and place on paper towels. Allow them to drain and come to room temperature at least 30 minutes.

Prepare a grill to medium high heat. Pat chicken dry with additional paper towels if necessary. Next, discard paper towels and brush chicken with a light coating of vegetable oil. Grill on prepared grill for 6 to 7 minutes on the first side, then turn breasts over and grill on second side until they are fully cooked. Remove finished chicken breasts to a platter. Grill bread if desired.

Place a chicken breast onto one half of each bread portion. Top with a generous amount of Romesco sauce and a lettuce leaf. Serve hot. Makes 6 large sandwiches.

Romesco Sauce

  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons pasilla chile powder*
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Romesco Sauve credit www.epicurious.com
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted and loose skins rubbed off with a kitchen towel while warm
  • 2 tablespoons blanched almonds
  • 1 (1/2-inch-thick) slice firm white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup drained bottled roasted red peppers, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Heat oil in an 8- to 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then add hazelnuts to skillet along with almonds, bread, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until bread and garlic are golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chile powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about one minute longer.

Add tomatoes (with juices) to a food processor. Add bread and chile mixture, peppers, water, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and purée until smooth. Thin with water if desired and season with salt.

Romesco sauce recipe credit Epicurious