Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Garlic-Basil Aioli

 Courtesy of the Appeal-Democrat

This recipe was created by Yuba City, CA, firefighter David Jans. It features an easy process that can be stopped and started mid-process without ruining the recipe, in case you get a call mid-preparation. Watch a step-by-step cooking demonstration here.


For aioli:
Zest from one lemon
2 bunches fresh basil
4 whole cloves garlic, finely chopped (or according to taste)
3⁄4 cup mayonnaise
Juice from half a lemon
1 tsp red wine vinegar
Pinch of salt and pepper

For marinade:
1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp ground coriander
Juice from half a lemon
Pinch of salt and pepper

For sandwiches:
4 thinly sliced, skinless chicken breast fillets, or 2 whole chicken breasts sliced lengthwise
4 6-inch rolls, whatever kind you like, but a crusty French roll works well
8 slices of tomato
8 slices of fresh mozzarella
8 thin slices of onion


  1. Begin with making the aioli dressing. When zesting the lemon, be sure to avoid getting any of the pith (the white part found under the yellow lemon rind) into the mixture because it adds an unpleasant bitterness.
  2. Blanch basil for a minute or two, then immediately plunge into an ice bath to cool and stop the cooking. Tear off the leaves and mince together with the garlic in a food processor.
  3. Spoon into a bowl, add the mayonnaise, squeeze the lemon juice into the mixture plus the lemon zest and vinegar. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Fold ingredients together and set aside to let the flavors mingle.
  4. Prepare chicken: Preheat grill. Combine all the marinade ingredients together. Place chicken pieces in the marinade, making sure each piece is well coated. Let sit for a few minutes, then grill the chicken about five to eight minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  5. While chicken is cooking, spread the aioli on the rolls, making sure each half is completely covered. Toast rolls in the oven until browned.
  6. When chicken is cooked, place a breast portion on the bottom half of the roll; layer each sandwich with two slices of each: tomato, mozzarella and onion. Drizzle a little vinegar over the toppings, to taste, then top with the other half of the roll. Serve and enjoy.

Serves 4

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