03 Feb Special of the Day: No Kitchen? No Problem! Chicken Parmesan Panini
Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say, and all I can say is Thank God we are fortunate enough to have the collection of stand-alone kitchen appliances we do: lifesavers we can plug in and lean on, in the extended absence of a real kitchen.
The good news is that as I type, I am listening to the hum of the drill piercing holes in the bright, beautiful white cabinets that are now installed and currently getting handles, so we are inching closer to completion every single day!
You might say we have settled in rather nicely at the downstairs bar set up as a temporary prep station for our meals these days, and it was actually great fun to dig out the panini grill and create a delicious, hot and hearty sandwich for dinner for the family one night last week.
And who doesn’t love Chicken Parmesan, especially when you simplify by starting with deli rotisserie chicken and quality ingredients and sautéing the garlic mushrooms in the microwave, creating a super satisfying sandwich supper in a snap?
This week’s Project Kitchen Remodel spotlight casts a shining light on the panini grill, one of my favorite newer acquisitions in the appliance department, but one I admittedly don’t use as often as I should. Until this week, that is. (Of course, this Chicken Parmesan sandwich could easily be done on the griddle as well, if your current appliance collection does not include a panini grill.)
With an appreciative nod to the panini grill, I give you this week’s Special of the Day: No Kitchen, No Problem! Chicken Parmesan Panini. Enjoy!
Recipe and food photography by Sydne George
Chicken Parmesan Panini
Recipe by Sydne George
(makes 4 sandwiches)
30 ounce deli rotisserie chicken
¼ cup butter
1 clove garlic
8 slices artisan garlic loaf (not garlic bread), sliced (Albertsons bakery department)
1 cup sliced mushrooms, washed and dried
½ cup prepared marinara sauce (pasta aisle)
½ cup Parmesan shred (deli)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Fresh basil leaves for garnish
Preheat panini grill to medium.
Carve chicken and slice into thin slices.
Melt butter and garlic in glass pie plate in microwave, cooking at 30 second intervals and stirring until mushrooms are slightly softened (about 1 ½ minutes total).
Brush both sides of 8 slices of artisan garlic bread loaf with garlic butter from sautéed mushrooms.
Layer thin slices of roasted chicken on top of each sandwich bottom.
Top chicken with marinara (not too much or it will spill out onto the panini press), sautéed garlic mushrooms and parmesan cheese shreds.
Top assembled sandwiches with buttered bread slices and transfer to panini grill. Close top of panini grill, and let grill for about 2 minutes, until bread is lightly golden and cheese shreds have begun to melt.
Remove from panini grill, slice sandwiches in half with a sharp knife, garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve.
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the Day” are archived at sydnegeorge.com .