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Chicken, Mushroom and Gruyère Grilled Sandwiches

Cultivated, firm-textured, brown cremini mushrooms have a deeper, richer flavor than white mushrooms, without the full earthiness of wild mushrooms. Once known as the Italian brown mushroom, the cremini, when allowed to mature fully, becomes yet another popular mushroom with an Italianate name, the giant portobello.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 6 fresh cremini or white button mushrooms,
     brushed clean and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 oz. Gruyère cheese, shredded
  • 4 slices firm-textured sandwich bread
  • 5 oz. sliced roasted chicken (about 1 cup)
     (see related recipes at left)
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise

Directions:

In a large nonstick fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they give off their juices and the liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Sprinkle half of the cheese on 2 slices of the bread. Top with equal amounts of the chicken, the mushrooms and the remaining cheese. Top each with one of the remaining bread slices. Press each sandwich gently. Spread 1 Tbs. of the mayonnaise over the tops of the sandwiches.

Wipe out the fry pan with paper towels. Heat the pan over medium-high heat until hot. Place the sandwiches, mayonnaise side down, in the pan. Spread the remaining mayonnaise on the tops of the sandwiches. Cook, turning once, until both sides are golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Serve hot. Serves 2.

Variation Tips: Here is a trio of other great combinations for your grilled chicken sandwich. Thinly sliced apples with sharp cheddar cheese on whole-wheat bread; provolone cheese, fresh basil leaves and olive paste on thinly sliced Italian bread; or sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and fresh oregano leaves on semolina bread.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Chicken, by Rick Rodgers (Simon & Schuster, 2001).