These sandwiches were a big hit beginning in the early 2000s and as far as I am concerned are still a hit. The flavors blend together so well under the weight and heat of the Panini press. With sun-dried and green basil pesto (homemade) what a combination this Panini is. Now is the time to use all of that basil you have been growing before the cold weather comes. Low 40’s here in Michigan overnight – too early for a frost!
I was wrong – one of my basil plants did get nipped a little (the brown on the leaves). My tomatoes seem to be okay!
I like to freeze a batch or two of both kinds of pesto in ice cube trays and then when I only need a little bit to put on a sandwich or perhaps add to a vegetable soup I just thaw out what I need. These ice cube trays are great as they have lids to keep the pesto fresh. Allow 1-2 cubes per sandwich depending on the size of the sandwich.
This is my seventh Panini sandwich I have posted so instead of listing every one you can go to the Sandwich category and see all the different sandwiches. See my post Kitchen Gadgets – Panini Makers which is a Krups.
This recipe comes from Buddy Valastro – yes in addition to delicious and fun cakes he makes he is also Italian and has his own cookbook with family recipes. I have used his recipe with my own pesto recipes.
Panini is the plural form of Panino which in Italy is the word for a sandwich made from bread such as ciabatta or baguette. In the United States, England and Canada it refers to pressed and toasted sandwiches made with sliced bread. I like to use an Artesian bread such as Zingerman’s sourdough or Whole Food’s country bread.
Pesto Chicken Panini
- thin sliced, skinless chicken breasts
- kosher salt
- clove of garlic crushed or use garlic powder
- olive oil to drizzle over the chicken and brush the outside of the bread
- sourdough bread or any good country bread, about 1/2-inch thick
- basil pesto (see my recipe Pesto)
- sun-dried tomato pesto (see my recipe Sun-dried Tomato Pesto)
- thin slices of provolone (allow 2 per sandwich)
Place the chicken in a shallow dish. Sprinkle salt and garlic powder (or rub a crushed garlic clove) on both sides of the chicken pieces. Drizzle one side with olive oil, turn and drizzle oil on the other side; let rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat your grill pan or your outside grill and cook the chicken on medium high until done; set aside to cool, then slice each chicken piece about 1/2-inch thick.
Preheat your Panini grill until good and hot. Spread a thin layer of basil pesto on the bottom inside slice of bread. Add 2 slices of provolone cheese, chicken slices and spread a thin layer of sun-dried tomato pesto on the top inside slice of bread. Brush the tops with oil and grill.
Comment: You could substitute the pesto with pesto mayonnaise; 3/4 cup mayonnaise plus 3 tbsp. pesto.
Recipe by cooking with aunt juju https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2013/09/14/pesto-chicken-panini/