Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chicken Pesto Panini

Mmmm... These were delicious! What's not to like about pesto, fresh mozzarella, and ciabatta bread? It is a winning combination. I love to make grilled panini because they are they are so easy to throw together for a quick weeknight meal. And you can stuff them with whatever you happen to have on hand. So, not only are they a breeze to make, but you also get to clean out your fridge. It's a win-win situation, really.

I had a red pepper that needed to be used so I roasted it for the sandwiches. You can roast red peppers in the oven if you'd like, but I am lazy and opt to roast mine on top of the stove. Then I don't have to worry about dirtying a baking sheet. (I really don't care for dishes, so the fewer the better.) And, fresh roasted red peppers are much tastier than the jarred variety. Trust me. So, just place the red pepper directly over the flame. Like so:
Once the pepper is totally black and charred, remove from the flame and place it in a paper bag. Roll the up tightly so that it is sealed. Leave it alone for about an hour. Don't open the bag. The steam from pepper will make the skin just slip right off. When the pepper has cooled off, take it out of the bag and remove the skin. Set your roasted red pepper aside until you are ready to use it.

Next, get the chicken ready. You want it to be thin so you can really smoosh the sandwich and have it be relatively compact. So, pound the chicken, season it with salt and pepper on both sides, and cook it in olive oil on top of the stove. Set it aside until you are ready to make your panini.

To assemble: I recommend ciabatta bread (cut in half horizontally, of course) with pesto generously slathered on each side. Top that with fresh mozzarella, the chicken, roasted red pepper slices, and more fresh mozzarella. Close the sandwich and grill. If you have a panini press then, by all means, use that. But, if you are like me, this is your panini maker. It's not as sad as it looks, I promise. It actually works really well.

And that's it. Pretty simple, very fast, and just plain heavenly.

Bon Appetit!


  1. I love a good panini - yours looks delicious!

  2. Your page was up when Dennis sent down at the computer and he immediately started begging me to make this. It does look delish, easy and very little clean up (which I love).

  3. So, that's how you get the skin off. Thanks.

  4. When will there be a new recipe!!!!!