Dunkin’ Donuts said it is introducing the “Oven-Toasted Chicken Parmesan Flatbread Sandwich” to its all-day menu, but the new item will not be immediately available in New England stores.

At the Canton-based coffee-and-baked-goods chain, the Tao of chow for the company’s food scientists is delivering convenience in a hand-held cuisine format.

A Dunkin’ press release said: “The Chicken Parmesan Flatbread Sandwich features lightly breaded, seasoned chicken topped with melted provolone cheese and a flavorful marinara sauce served in a convenient flatbread that is easy to eat and hold while on the go. Dunkin’ Donuts’ unique cooking ovens, using patented technologies, deliver the “Oven-Toasted” result. The Chicken Parmesan Flatbread Sandwich will be available at participating Dunkin’ Donuts shops throughout the country beginning today, with the exception of shops in New England, for the suggested retail price of $3.99.”

The new item will be available in New England at a later date, the company said.

The release cited data from the NPD Group research firm that the chicken sandwich category grew by 7 percent in the quick service restaurant industry over the past year, reaching 3.5 billion servings for 2008.

Other items in Dunkin’s Oven-Toasted flatbread sandwiches line-up include Ham & Swiss, Turkey Cheddar & Bacon, and Grilled Cheese, the chain noted.

Boston Globe