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Joshua Weissman’s Chicken Parm Focaccia Sandwich Bites

Ingredients

JW Chicken Parm
• 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1½ lb/680g total)
• Kosher salt, to taste
• High-heat oil (such as canola, avocado, vegetable, lard, etc.), for frying
• fresh mozzarella (3½ cups), grated
• fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about ¾ cup), grated
• Thinly sliced chives (optional), for serving
• 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 tbsp fine sea salt
• Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
• 4 large eggs plus a splash of filtered water
• 2½ cups plain Panko
• Sauce

JW Shorter Rise, Tall Focaccia
• 675g water (95f)
• 12g instant yeast
• 900g all-purpose flour
• 18g fine sea salt
• cooking spray for greasing
• 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling.
• 1/3 cup salted butter
• 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped

Chicken Parm Focaccia Sandwich Bites Assembly Instructions:
• Finished batch of chicken parm
• Focaccia
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1/2 cup mayo
• 1/2 cup pesto
• Juice and zest of 1 lemon
• 1 bunch basil, chiffonade

Directions

JW Chicken Parm
1. Prepare the chicken. Carefully butterfly the chicken breasts, but not all the way through, leaving one edge intact like a hinge. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the opened chicken pieces, and pound the chicken breasts until they are slightly thinner than ½ inch thick. Season lightly with kosher salt.
2. Fill a large deep cast-iron skillet or heavy bottomed pot just over halfway, or about 2 inches (5cm), with oil. Fit with a fry thermometer or candy thermometer, and heat the oil to 350°F (180°C). Adjust the heat up and down to maintain that temperature.
3. While the oil is heating, prepare 3 separate shallow bowls for the breading station. In the first, whisk together the all-purpose flour, fine sea salt, and pepper to taste. In the second, beat the eggs with a splash of water. In the third, place the panko.
4. Coat each piece of chicken in the all-purpose flour, shaking off the excess. Then dip into the egg wash to thoroughly coat so no dry spots remain. Finally, coat in the panko, pressing the chicken into the crumbs to thoroughly coat. Place to the side, and repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
5. Cooking 1 at a time, carefully place the breaded chicken breast into the oil (dropping away from you). Fry on one side for 3 to 5 minutes, or until crispy golden brown and then flip and fry for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C). Place on a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet to cool. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

JW Shorter Rise, Tall Focaccia
2. Mix water and yeast until combined and dissolved, then whisk together all-purpose flour and fine sea salt.
3. Add yeast water to flour mix. Mix by hand until you get a nice dough. Mix via the Rubaud method until roughly smooth. No intense kneading required. Transfer to a bowl and generously drizzle with olive oil. Wrap that up with plastic wrap, let it rise at room temp for 25 minutes, then pop into the fridge overnight.
4. Next day, generously spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Add a nice glug of olive oil to the pan as well. Add in your dough spread it out to the sides, and proof at room temp covered with plastic wrap for 2 hours or till doubled in size.
5. Preheat oven to 450f.
6. Generously coat the focaccia with 1/4 cup olive oil, bake for 25-30 minutes or until beautiful golden brown.
7. While baking, melt butter, once hot and melted, cut off the heat and add chopped garlic.
8. Brush finished hot focaccia with garlic butter.

Chicken Parm Focaccia Sandwich Bites Assembly Instructions:
1. Cut the focaccia horizontally like a giant sandwich, butter each side of the cut sides
2. Toast in a large griddle pan that will fit the bread, or bake in the oven till toasted
3. Mix your mayo, pesto, lemon juice, and lemon zest while the focaccia is toasting
4. Spread your mayo mix on cut sides of the bread, layer on your chicken parm, top with fresh basil, add your top half of your focaccia, press lightly, to adhere, and slice your giant sandwich into "bite-size” pieces. Either little rectangles or squares.
5. Enjoy while watching the game!

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