BBQ · Cooking · Dinner · Savory · Spreads

Grilled Chicken Sandwich and My Debut as a Chorister

In the Jack Singer Concert Hall after my first performances in the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus

I had my very first choral performance in the Jack Singer Concert Hall with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra this past weekend. We performed Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. It’s an impressive, 3 hour-long account of the Passion of Christ as told by St. Matthew. It included 2 orchestras, 2 choirs, a children’s choir and several solo vocalists. It was also entirely in German.

The beautiful light display on the organ at the Jack Singer Concert Hall for the St. Matthew’s Passion

Back in January, I decided that I should audition for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus. I didn’t think I’d make it in, but fortunately for me, I did! We rehearsed every Wednesday night for 9 weeks, we had one day long choir camp, and then 3 hour rehearsals every day of the week leading up to the performances. It was a long, hard but rewarding 10 weeks. I am so proud of myself and all the musicians that I had the privilege of performing along side. This piece of music was an enormous undertaking by all musicians involved.

Beautiful flowers for me, from me

To say that this past week has been busy is a grand understatement. I was spending less than 8 hours at home each day, with only 5 or 6 of those dedicated to sleep. With the exception of my sick day on Tuesday, there was not a single moment of down time. Because of my sick day on Tuesday though, I was able to make a few things so I had food for the rest of the week. It was so busy, I bought beautiful flowers to cheer me up. I actually made a conscious effort to sit next to my flowers when eating dinner every night, so I was taking time to “stop and smell the roses” (I know those flowers aren’t roses, they’re freesia, but so pretty and smell heavenly).

In between napping and furiously cleaning germs from every surface in my home on my sick day, I made a few gem recipes. I’ve already told you about the Raspberry Lemon Crepes. I also made the most incredible Grilled Chicken Sandwich. I had it for dinner before choir that night, then lunch the next day. I made this sandwich on homemade focaccia, then I topped the sandwich with a roasted red pepper pesto, arugula, basil and aged cheddar. Yum.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Prep Time: 1 hour | Cooking Time: 1 hour


4 chicken breasts
Loaf of focaccia bread (or whatever bread you’d prefer to use)
Roasted red pepper pesto – recipe to follow
Aged lactose-free cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese you’d prefer)


1. Pre-heat your grill to medium-high.

2. Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil.

3. Grill chicken until cooked, 5 to 6 minutes per side.

4. Cut 2 slices of bread. Spread each slice with roasted red pepper pesto.

5. Layer bread with grilled chicken, arugula, basil and cheddar.

(Adapted from Smoky Bell Pepper Pesto on Grilled Chicken Sandwiches in the March 2012 issue of Whole Living)

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Yield: 1/2 cup pesto

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 30 – 45 minutes


2 large red bell peppers (I bought a package that had a red, orange and yellow pepper – I used the red and orange)
1/2 tsp garlic paste
2 tbsp raw almonds, toasted
1 tsp fresh oregano
2 tbsp olive oil


1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the red peppers on a baking pan.

2. Roast for 30 – 45 minutes or until the skin on the peppers has blackened. Turn often so all parts of the pepper can feel the burn.

3. Once the skins have blackened over most of the peppers and the flesh has softened, remove from oven.

4. Pull out stem and seeds, peel off the skin and discard.

5. Place all ingredients into a food processor. Process until the chickpeas have broken down into a smooth paste, and all ingredients are combined.

6. Pulse peppers, garlic, almonds, and oregano until coarsely chopped.

7. Pour olive oil into the mix, and  continue to process until combined.

(Adapted from Smoky Bell Pepper Pesto on Grilled Chicken Sandwiches in the March 2012 issue of Whole Living)


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