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Grilled Jerk Chicken Focaccia Sandwiches

Heidi Shenk "cuisine" "food" "recipe" "summer"

As you've probably figured out by now, I love summer food! So much fun to make all sorts of refreshing meals from the fresh fruits and veggies that summer has to offer. Not to mention all of the amazing options for grilling. Once beautiful weather has shown its face in my neighborhood, the grill gets used about three times a week. One of my favorite items for the summer is a Jerk Chicken Focaccia sandwich, something I've based upon the same fabulous sandwich my mom serves at her bakery.

This is the perfect summer sandwich! Last weekend, with such warm weather, I just had to make it again! This is a sandwich that has been shared with friends, has made its way to Wolf Trap with a bottle of wine during a Crowded House concert, and makes me reminiscent of enjoying food and good company during lunch at my mother's bakery. The flavors are absolutely amazing. While I only will leave you with the recipe for the focaccia and the chicken today, I often serve this sandwich with a fresh mango and pineapple salsa-- perfect complimentary flavors! Perhaps that will be for next time. For now, enjoy the recipes!

Focaccia with Red Onion and Rosemary

1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
half of a red onion
several sprigs of fresh rosemary

1) Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water in a large bowl and let stand for several minutes until the yeast begins to bubble.

2) Add 1 3/4 cups of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the yeast mixture. Stir until fulling combined. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Add remaining flour as needed. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover, and let rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

3) Cut dough into two equal pieces and shape each piece into flat circles. Place the shaped dough on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise 30 minutes.

4) Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

5) Poke indentations in the shaped dough with your fingertips. Brush remaining olive oil on the dough, placed sliced red onion rings evenly over the dough, and sprinkle with rosemary and kosher salt. Bake at 475 for 12 minutes or until golden.

Jerk Chicken Marinade

Combine the following ingredients and let 3-4 chicken breasts marinade. I usually start the marinade in the morning or the night before.

1 tablespoon allspice
1 tablespoon thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon sage
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup onion, finely chopped

 Bake or grill the chicken, basting frequently with the remaining marinade. When the chicken has been cooked through, slice the chicken into small pieces. Slice the focaccia to prepare for sandwiches. I usually lay the sliced chicken on a bed of mixed baby greens for the final sandwich. Enjoy!

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