Chicken and Avocado Sandwich with Spinach Bread

Adapted from a lunchtime favorite from a hip Washington, D.C. bistro, this sandwich is hearty enough to see you through the final frigid days of winter but, with the inclusion of only the freshest ingredients, will have you thinking of summer afternoons spent lingering at a sidewalk café.

As an aside, we want to mention that in penning the spinach “bread” recipe we perhaps should have issued a warning that it can sometimes be…well, a little on the dry side (on par with, say, a drier rye bread or a seriously crusty loaf). However, the inclusion of the avocado provides the creamy texture you would usually rely on mayonnaise to provide, while the tomato offers both a burst of freshness and some much-needed moisture without veering into soggy territory.

4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
8 slices bacon
2 ripe avocados (they should feel firm, but yield to gentle pressure)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
1 medium red onion, sliced
2 large tomatoes, sliced
8 slices of spinach bread

Place chicken strips in a lightly greased shallow casserole dish (large enough so that the pieces don’t touch so that they can cook evenly) and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in a preheated 375 degree oven and cook until the juices run clear when pierced and the chicken begins to brown (about 30 minutes depending on your oven).

Once the chicken is in the oven, line a baking tray completely with foil (including the sides… trust us, it makes cleaning up a heck of a lot easier!). Place bacon strips on foil and place on top shelf of oven. Bacon is cooked when it crisps up and turns brown.

While all that is cooking, take each avocado, cut in half and, using a spoon, scoop the flesh out of the skins. Discard skins. Using a fork, mash the avocado until smooth. Add finely chopped basil to give it a flavor kick and lemon juice to prevent browning.

Assemble all the ingredients between the bread – 2 slices of red onion, 2 slices of tomato, a quarter of the chicken, 2 slices of bacon, and a quarter of the avocado mixture – and dig in! Serves 4.

Nutrition Analysis:
Calories per serving: 692
Fat: 36.3 grams (46% calories from fat)
Carbs: 23.6 grams (13% calories from carbs)
Protein: 68.4 grams (41% calories from protein)

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