Chef Michael Ferraro won the Mezzetta sandwich charity challenge with this recipe, and after trying it, it's easy to tell why. Don’t be intimated by the steps in the recipe — you can easily make the pesto and aioli while the chicken thighs cook, or, prepare them ahead of time to use later.
Click here to see How to Make the Perfect Sandwich.
Combine the 2 tablespoons pesto, 1 tablespoon Castelvetrano olives, and the 1 teaspoon grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and set aside.
In a food processor, add a smashed garlic clove and egg yolk and purèe for 30 seconds. Slowly drizzle in olive oil to emulsify. Once the oil is emulsified, add the juice of half the lemon. Drain the peppers and add the roasted peppers. Season with kosher salt.
In a small pot add the water, salt, sugar, 1 garlic clove, 1 thyme sprig and bring to a simmer. Once the salt and sugar are dissolved, cool the liquid. Once the liquid is at 40 degrees, place the chicken thighs in and marinate for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the chicken from brine, dry, and season both sides with salt and black pepper. In a medium-sized sauté pan with a little olive oil, heat to medium-hot, and place thighs in skin side down. Place pan in the oven for 8 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and add the butter, and the remaining thyme and garlic. Once the butter is lightly browned, flip thighs over and baste for 1 minute. Remove from pan and reserve.
To assemble, cut the ciabatta bread in half and lightly oil each side and grill to toast. Spread 1-1/2 teaspoons of the aioli on the top half of the bread. Spread 1-1/2 teaspoons of the pesto on the bottom half of the bread.
Stacking from the bottom with the chicken thighs thinly sliced, follow with 3 slices of burrata cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted. Toss a hand full of baby arugula with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, juice of a quarter lemon, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place arugula on top of cheese and top with charred tomatoes and a drizzle of balsamico. Close sandwich with top piece of bread.