Friday, September 2, 2011

OMG Panini

OMG Panini
In my last post I made slow cooker whole chicken and gave some of my standard dishes using the leftover chicken. Well Marina surprised me by coming home (if you’ve ever visited here before you KNOW how much I adore having my kids around) for the Labor Day weekend!  Yahoo and first thing I did was to make her something to eat.

She absolutely adores Panini so I started rummaging around the kitchen to see what I could put into one.  First thing I found was the leftover chicken so I decided to build from there.

I would normally use thicker sliced bread for a Panini but this is all that I had and it worked just fine!
Oh by the way, in case you don’t realize it, Panini is simply the Italian word for sandwiches.  Don’t you think it sounds so much more fun, exotic and creative when it goes by the name Panini?  I do too.  I mean, when I hear sandwich I can’t help but relate back to my school days of peanut butter and jelly, or bologna with mustard on Wonder bread. Whereas from Panini I seem to expect sophistication and layered flavors geared toward my adult tastes.  Egad, when I write this down I sound a bit weird even to myself?

Oh yah, back to the chicken Panini. 
Ingredients for 2 persons: 2 large panini

1 cup (give or take a bit, the measure does not have to be exact for a sandwich) cooked chicken
6-8 ounces sliced Fontina (or any other mild semi soft cheese; Havarti, Mozzarella, Emmenthaler, Swiss)
1 avocado peeled and sliced
4 slices Italian Pancetta cooked until crisp (or 6 slices American bacon cooked until crisp)
½ cup chopped fresh tomatoes marinated in olive oil with fresh chopped basil and garlic. (If you don't have time you can just use sliced tomatoes but this combo really is great with the avocados and chicken!)
4 large and thick slices Italian or French Country bread
A sprits of olive oil (I keep a sprayer of olive oil for toasting bread and lightly coating pans) (You could use butter if you wanted but in that case don't butter the top slice until you are ready to flip the panini or the butter will just stick to your weight.)
Lay out your top and bottom bread slices next to each other.
Build your sandwich in layers as follows:
Slice of bread
Cheese slices
Avocado Slices
Chicken pieces
Chopped tomatoes
Avocado slices again
Pancetta or bacon
Cheese slices again
Slice of bread
Slightly spray both sides of bread with olive oil, you certainly can use flavored olive oil; roasted garlic would be nice.
Place in preheated Panini, grill or frying pan and top with a weight. (You can top the Panini with foil and use a smaller pan for the weight if necessary)
Grill over medium high about 4-5 minutes or cheese is melting and bread is toasting.
Flip Panini over and grill until the other slice of bread is toasted.
Slice in half and serve.


  1. I love the name of the panini, And I looks very tasty it makes me wanna do panini again :)

  2. No fancy panini press required! Anyone can do that. Love it!

  3. This panini looks delicious!! Love fontina cheese and avocado!!

  4. Chicken, bacon, avocado - perfect combination!

  5. This looks amazing - thanks for sharing x

  6. I love panini, it s my great lunch when i m alone:)