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1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken; sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Cook and stir about 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, remove from skillet.
2. Add sweet peppers, onion, and garlic to skillet. Cook and stir for 5 to 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken and hot pepper sauce. Remove from heat.
3. Spread cut sides of Italian bread with pesto. Place chicken mixture and cheese on the bottom of loaf. Add the top of loaf and gently press together. Cut sandwich diagonally into four portions.
4. Preheat an electric sandwich press, a covered indoor grill, a large grill pan, or a large skillet. Place sandwich portions in the sandwich press or indoor grill; close lid. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. (If using a grill pan or skillet, place sandwich portions in grill pan or skillet. Weight down with a heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until bread is toasted. Turn sandwich portions over, weight down, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more or until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.)
5. Cut each sandwich portion diagonally into four slices; secure with toothpicks, if necessary. If desired, garnish with Fried Basil Leaves. Makes 16 appetizer servings.