Saturday, March 26, 2011

Grilled Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini's

I made these Panini's to go with my Tomato Soup last night. Oh my goodness these were good! I love Panini's! I found this recipe on http://www.thepioneerwoman.com/ but I tweaked mine a bit. I used Tyson grilled Chicken strips and already roasted red peppers to make them faster and easier. But you can always grill your own! I made her sundried tomatoe/pesto like she said to, but I think next time I will just buy a jar of sundried tomato pesto and mix that into the mayo, just for ease. But these were good!! They went really well with the Tomato soup!! YUMMO! Also, I made more of these for lunch today, and I added 2 slices of precooked bacon on each sandwich, it was awesome!! Either way these are yummo sandwiches!!

Grilled Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini's

1/2 of a bag of Tyson's grilled chicken strips (or you could grill your own, use 2 whole chicken breasts)
8 whole sundried tomatoes in oil
3 Tablespoons prepared basil pesto
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup real Mayonaise
1/2 of a jar of roasted red bell pepper strips, drained
Provolone or Mozzarella Cheese slices
Softened Butter
Sourdough bread (the good hearty kind, or you can use a multi grain bread if you prefer)

If you are grilling chicken breasts get those going by pounding with a mallet so they are all about 1/2 inch thick.
Next, make sundried tomato pesto by combining the sundried tomatoes, pesto, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper together in a blender or food processor and puree. (I highly reccommend the food processor, easier to get the tomato pesto out of than a blender, it's thick and not pourable)
If you are grilling your own chicken place in a baggie with a spoonful of the tomato pesto and mush around a bit to coat the chicken. Let marinate for a few hours in the fridge. Then grill about 7 minutes per side until done. Cool and Slice into strips.
If you are using the Tyson chicken strips, let thaw out a bit. Then place a Tablespoon of the tomato pesto in a large skillet, heat over medium heat, then add your chicken strips and cook 3 or 4 minutes to crisp the chicken and coat with the pesto. Set aside.

Next, make your spread by putting 1/4 cup mayonaise in a small bowl along with about 3 Tablespoons of the tomato pesto. (Freeze the rext in an small tupperware if you have leftover). Mix well to combine and set aside.

To make a panini, take 2 slices of bread, and spread your tomato/pesto mayonaise generously on one side of both pieces of bread. Next layer chicken slices across one piece of the bread, then layer on a few red bell pepper slices, then top with 2 slices of the cheese.

Then place the other piece of bread, mayonaise side down on top of the cheese. Butter the top of the bread. (If you have a panini grill, butter both the top and bottom piece of bread and grill until done.) I don't have a panini pan, so I used 2 heavy cast iron skillets. I heated the larger pan until hot, placed my sandwich butter side down, then placed my other heavey skillet on the top of the sandwich, this presses it down so it becomes a panini. Cook over medium-low heat until brown, remove top skillet,  butter the top piece of bread, and flip the sandwich over, and place the skillet back on the top and cook until this side is brown. Remove from pan to a plate and cut in half. Continue making sandwiches until your chicken is gone. I made about 4 sandwiches with about 1/2 bag of Tyson chicken.  Eat by itself or serve with soup! Way yummy dipped in the tomato soup I made with it!
YUMMO!!!

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