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Chicken Panini

This is one of those meals I’ve been making since hubby and I got married, and which has only improved over the years as I’ve learned more about cooking. I used to go to one of the few bakeries around here, which only sells a few different kinds of bread, and get the wide Italian loaf. I’d cut it up, make the panini, and cook them on a skillet, trying to squish them down as hard as I could with a spatula. We’d invariably have to stick them in the microwave for a few minutes afterward to melt the cheese, since the bread would be brown long before that. They were okay – certainly not great.

Oh, how much I’ve learned since then.

Now, I make my own bread. I’m still in the experimenting stage; I’m trying to find the bread I like the most for these delicious grilled sandwiches. This weekend, I made ciabatta bread, and it was pretty darn good. I mean, look at it:

It’s Peter Reinhart’s ciabbata bread from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I was going to detail the long process of creating it, but since I already used up most of my patience making the bread, I decided to link you to the book instead.

I could eat it all day dipped in olive oil…but I won’t. Maybe.

Anyway, back to the panini. It also helps tremendously to have the right equipment. This past Christmas, one of hubby’s brothers got me a nice, big George Foreman grill for Christmas. Now, no more squishing sandwiches with spatulas. And no more microwaving!

Here’s everything you’ll need for the chicken panini:

First, cook the chicken. I cut mine into small pieces and fried them up on the stove, but you can prepare it any way you like. Just be sure to shred it afterward, so it’ll be easier to get on the panini.

Slice up the bread, and then slice up the tomato and cheese.

Make the “sauce.” Mix together the olive oil and garlic, and use a brush to coat the inside of the sandwich bread.

Pile everything on the bread…

…and top with another piece of garlic-coated bread. Now, you’re ready to grill.

Spray the grill with cooking spray. Grill for 5-10 minutes, or until the bread is brown and toasty and the cheese is melted!

Posted by on June 24, 2009.

Tags: , ,

Categories: dinner, lunch

6 Responses

  1. We grilled panini the other night too! We are on the same page:) They are good huh? Love your photos!

    by Maria on Jun 24, 2009 at 10:07 am

  2. Haha yeah we are! Thanks, they were delicious…are you going to post pictures of yours?? 🙂

    by Tracy on Jun 24, 2009 at 10:09 am

  3. That looks great. I can turn that recipe in to vegetarian for me and use it as written for the hubster. Wonderful!

    by Joanne on Jun 24, 2009 at 12:51 pm

  4. Your bread looks amazing and I love paninis! Maybe I’ll hit up Panera bread and get a loaf! Good idea using the George Foreman as a panini press!!

    by Shelly on Jun 24, 2009 at 4:37 pm

  5. Oh, yeah…that’s my kind of sandwich! I was just thinking that my George Foreman has gone unused for months now. I need to break that baby back out for these!

    by bridget on Jun 24, 2009 at 5:54 pm

  6. Looks Delicious. I use my George Foreman grill as a panini press- that’s about all I use it for these days. A really good bread to use for Panini is Focaccia. It’s already pretty flat- you just cut it in half horizontally in whatever size you want. It works really well. Now I’m hungry. 🙂

    by G. on Jun 24, 2009 at 7:05 pm

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About Sugarcrafter

Hi there! I’m Tracy, and I live in upstate NY. My husband and I met in college and have been married since 2005. A Canning, baking, writing, photography, and even cleaning (yes, cleaning – it can be oddly relaxing), are all things that I enjoy. This blog brings all of those passions together – but […]more →