BBQ Chicken French Breads.
This is what I like to call “eating color.”
I mean there is a good bit of green here. In a few different forms! It completely works.
And I really want to call this bread. But I also want to call it pizza. It’s like faux pizza on French bread. The easiest ever since you don’t have to make your own dough and can just buy a darn loaf of bread at the store and trash it up with lots of great flavor.
It’s the supreme party food. Because I say so! It may be a leeeeeettle high maintenance but it’s worth it. You will see.
It’s also a total rip off of the buffalo chicken French breads I made years ago. It’s the most perfect football food ever and just generally an excellent idea for dinner… or lunch… or anything. And everything.
Especially the nights when you get stuck watching Homeland reruns until midnight and you’re just like… how does Claire Danes DO it? How is she so ridiculously fantastic as an actor? Why does she make me feel like an uncomfortable lunatic? How does she master the ugly cry so well?
Nothing these French breads can’t solve in the wee hours of morning.
The bread is covered with a heavy-handed drizzle of BBQ sauce, cheese, some chicken, bacon and caramelized shallots. It’s baked until crisp and bubbly with cheese then drenched in a blanket of chives, scallions, cilantro annnnd more BBQ sauce. Use your favorite! I used a combo of bone suckin’ sauce (which is a forever staple in this house) and some vanilla bourbon BBQ sauce from my cookbook. The mixture was scary good. I wanted to eat it right off the spoon.
In fact… the entire thing is so scary good that it makes me want to do the ugly cry.
BBQ Chicken French Breads
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 shallots, sliced
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 large french baguette, sliced in half
1 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
8 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
4 ounces white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
6 sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup snipped chives
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat a skillet over low heat and add 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter. Add the sliced shallots with a pinch of salt and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions become caramely and golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and cook for another 5 minutes to deepen the flavor.
Place the chicken in a bowl and toss it with the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper until evenly coated. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter. Add the chicken and cook until golden on both sides and cooked through, flipping occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Toss with 1/3 cup of BBQ sauce.
Spread a thin layer of BBQ sauce over each side of the bread. Sprinkle half of the fontina cheese on both sides of the bread, just a light layer to act as "glue." Top the cheese with the chicken, shallots and bacon. Cover with the remaining fontina and white cheddar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly and the bread is toasted. Remove the bread from the oven and drizzle with the remaining BBQ sauce, then cover generously with the sliced onions, cilantro, parsley and chives. Slice into squares and serve.
it’s friday! devour it.