Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Southwest Chicken Panini

Once upon a time, I was afraid of the panini. No, not to eat the panini; I'd had many and they were delicious. But making the panini seemed so far out of my skill set that I thought they were out of reach. But then I tried to make my first, and it's so darned easy! The first time, I used a strange contraption as a weight on top; this time, I used my cast iron skillet to grill the sandwich and the next smaller sized cast iron skillet as the press. This worked like a CHARM!!

I found this recipe on Annie's Eats, and it seemed like such an easy and fast weeknight meal, that I added it to the list.
Despite having it on the counter, next to the stove, I forgot to add the tomato sauce. It made for a still tasty yet probably less messy sandwich. I was happy for the removed seeds (which I'd never considered doing since... uh, I hadn't thought about it), because it gave delicious chipotle smokiness without the spiciness that sometimes goes along.

Next time, I'll have to make this one as written... with the spices, with the tomato sauce!

Southwest Chicken Panini, Source:  Heat Oven to 350 via Annie's Eats

For the filling:
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded thin
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle in adobo sauce, seeded and minced

*Juice of 1 lime


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Place the chicken breasts in the pan and cook, turning, until golden brown on both sides and an instant read thermometer inserted in the center reads 160˚ F.  Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil.  Add the onion, garlic, and chipotle to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.  Cube the chicken into bite size pieces and return to the pan with the onion-spice mixture.  Cook until warmed through and well blended.  Off the heat, stir in the lime juice.
  • Heat a second skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat and coat lightly with oil.  Lay out slices of bread for sandwiches, lightly oiling one side of each piece and facing that side outward from the filling.  Assemble sandwiches with some of the chicken mixture, shredded cheese, and chopped cilantro as desired.  Place sandwiches on the heated pan to cook briefly, turning once, until the outside is golden brown and the cheese is melted.  Serve warm.

To assemble:
Sliced sourdough bread
Olive oil
Shredded pepper jack or cheddar cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro

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