Preparation / Directions:
STEP ONE: For the Chicken-- Rub the chicken breasts with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the black pepper, and thyme leaves. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 6 hours, preferably overnight. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.
STEP TWO: For the Peppers-- Preheat oven to 500F and place 2 red bell peppers on the rack and roast. Turn the peppers occasionally until the skins are completely charred (20 to 30 minutes). Place the peppers in a paper bag and seal the top. This allows them to steam and aids in peeling. Remove the peppers from the bag and remove the skins with your fingers. Sometimes a little cold running water helps. Remove the cores and seeds and slice into 1/4-inch strips. Toss the peppers with 2 tablespoons olive oil and store in a glass container until ready to use.
If a charcoal fire is available, you can roast the peppers directly on the coals. This can be very tricky, so you need to watch them constantly. As the peppers begin to char, turn them so they char evenly. Once you have an even char, proceed as in oven roasting. The charcoal roasting imparts a smoky flavor that enhances the sandwich.
STEP THREE: For the Sauce-- Mix mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, and dash of salt together well and refrigerate in a glass container until ready to use.
STEP FOUR: Assembling the Sandwiches-- The chicken, peppers, and mustard sauce can be prepared to this point a day in advance. When you are ready
To serve the sandwiches, prepare a charcoal fire or preheat the grill for the chicken and bread.
Grill the breasts 6 to 10 minutes per side, depending on the heat of your fire. As they are cooking, brush a little butter or olive oil on one side of 12 slices of the bread. When the breasts are cooked, transfer to a platter and allow to cool slightly, at which time you will need to either grill the bread until slightly toasted. Spread a liberal amount of the mustard sauce on the oiled or buttered side of the bread slices so that the dry sides will be on the outside of the sandwich.
Slice the breasts on a diagonal and place each sliced breast on a slice of toasted bread. Top with some of the roasted pepper strips, 2 slices of tomato, some of the arugula, and the top piece of bread. Cut and serve as you would with any sandwich.
Can be served with coleslaw or "Roasted Potato Salad" (see recipe.)
Recipe By: Ed Kasky of Engine Co. No. 28, Los Angeles