Panini. It’s a fancy way of having a grilled sandwich on the stove top. I love saying pa-ni-ni because it just rolls off your tongue.
A panini press will change the way you enjoy sandwiches. Depending on how I feel, sometimes I crave a cold sandwich or sometimes a hot sandwich. I will admit that I have neglected to use my fancy panini press lately because it’s in the far deep corner of my bottom kitchen cabinet – I always forget that it is there. If you don’t have a fancy panini press, you can always use a grill pan or large skillet and use another large skillet as the press while the sandwich cooks.
I remember when I got my panini press because it was a gift from my aunt and cousin at my bridal shower. My aunt told me she wanted me to continue the wife-y duties of making “Cuban” sandwiches at home! I might have made tons of fancy grilled cheeses to break it in. Note to self, must make grilled cheese next week for dinner, too.
This panini was pretty simple to put together and was a fantastic weekday dinner. Plus, it was another fantastic recipe swap and the theme was chicken. I simplified the prep time by using store-bought rotisserie chicken and blended the artichoke spread together so it can spread easier on the focaccia bread. I loved the combination of artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes, it’s pairs together perfectly. Tangy and nutty.
One irresistible panini.
Chicken Artichoke Panini
Adapted from Calphalon - Recommended by Jenna at A Journey Through Trying New Things
1 small shallot
4 artichoke hearts, drained (about ¾ cup)
6 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and sliced
3 tablespoons oil from sun-dried tomatoes
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped finely
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Rotisserie chicken, cut up into small pieces (about 2 cups)
Shredded Fontina cheese, 1 cup
1 cup of arugula
Extra-virgin olive oil
Artichoke spread: In a small food processor, mix the shallot, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes & oil until smooth. Fold in the chopped basil and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a container and set aside.
Panini: Preheat the panini grill pan over medium-high heat for about 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon the artichoke spread on one side of the focaccia. Layer it with the chicken, and arugula, and a handful of shredded Fontina cheese. Lightly drizzle extra-virgin olive oil on the other half of the focaccia. Press the sandwich together.
Place the sandwich on the pan, and cover with panini top and let cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Carefully turn the sandwich, and cook the other side for 1 to 2 minutes, and press with the panini top.
Transfer sandwiches to a serving platter and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
Review: A new favorite sandwich added to the menu rotation and a great reminder to use my panini press more.