Sunday dinner: Chicken pesto panini

2013-01-20 at 18-09-23We’ve talked extensively about my big Christmas present/kitchen addition, better known as the ice cream maker. Hell, I have an entire category devoted to it now. That said, it was not the only new item in the kitchen arsenal. I am now the owner of a 1,500-watt Breville panini maker, courtesy of my father and stepmother. It’s a handy little thing. I specifically chose this one because it could fit two sandwiches side-by-side, and it had the best reviews in terms of cleanup.

It took some getting used to. For instance, I was buttering the bread at first, but found that the sandwiches would transform into greasy messes. I’ve since switched to flavored olive oils. It works much better.

2013-01-20 at 18-09-07WHAT WORKED: Prepped stuff. Listen, this isn’t a gourmet meal. It’s a sandwich. It doesn’t mean that you should use garbage ingredients, but I wasn’t going to do a lot of trying here. Wegmans has a lot of good prepared food. The pesto on the Mediterranean bar is solid, as were the chicken breasts that are usually part of the grocer’s $6 meals.

WHAT DIDN’T: Me. It needed something else. Maybe another slice of prosciutto.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: Not much. The Kid tried climbing on the table again, so there were more words directed at her than me.

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Likely, but with some sort of change. Maybe a different pesto or cheese.

2013-01-20 at 18-16-28Chicken pesto panini
By Jared Paventi

  • 2 4 oz. cooked chicken breasts, sliced in half horizontally
  • 2 tbsp. basil pesto
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese sliced into six pieces
  • 2 slices prosciutto
  • Four slices country-style or Italian bread
  • flavored olive oil (I used garlic)

Brush one side of Italian bread with olive oil and lay it oil side down. Place the chicken breasts on the bread, followed by a slice of prosciutto and three pieces of mozzarella. Dab with pesto and top with another slice of bread. Brush the top side of the sandwich with olive oil.

Place on a preheated panini maker, close the lid and cook eight minutes.

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