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Chicken Panini Melts

This is a very simple, and delicious sandwich that you can make anytime.

BLOG POSTINGS > Everyday Meals

Chicken Panini Melts

by zirbirt

Some sandwiches need to be pressed. Not just to hold everything together, but to make it cook in a way that actually changes a few simple components into something better. This sandwich, which is kind of a distant relative to chicken salad, is a prime example of on of those sandwiches.

Sure, you could grill it normally, but it wouldn't work the same (I know I tried). If you don't have a fancy Panini press, fear not, I have solutions for you included in this posting.

Chicken Panini's
2 Chicken Breast (butterflied into 2 pieces each)
Salt & Pepper
Minced Dried Garlic
2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Cheddar
butter (for spreading on bread)

I start by cutting each piece of chicken in half, in a butterfly style cut. This means, I lay the breast down flat then slide the knife through from the side, to create 2 thinner pieces of chicken that are still the same width and height as the original.. just each is half as thin.

I then sprinkle salt, pepper and minced dried garlic on both sides of each piece of chicken and pat it in.

I heat my griddle or skillet over medium heat until it is nice and hot. Then, I place my chicken on there.

I cook this for about 5 minutes then flip it and cook for another 5

I continue cooking until the chicken is fully cooked.

Once it is done, I move it onto a plate or mat, and let it rest for about 5 minutes.

Then, I just slice it into long slices and put them (still warm) into a bowl.

I toss in my 2 Tbs of mayo, and my cheddar. Since I seasoned the chicken, there is no need to add any further seasonings.

I simply stir this together, letting my spoon break the chicken a bit further down.

I put a generous amount of this between 2 slices of bread. I then butter the outside of the top slice of bread.

I place this into my warmed Panini press butter side down.

While its sitting the press, I quickly butter the top and close it.

I let the whole thing cook for about 5-10 minutes or until the sandwiches are nice and brown.

Simple right? As a matter of fact, yes it is. This is a very simple sandwich, but the results are not so simple actually. The pressure from the press, not only presses the bread down, but pushes some of the juice out of that freshly cooked chicken. This is why I do it while the chicken is still warm.

The juice then mingles with the mayo and the cheese, but has no where else it can go. So the three elements work together to form something like a flavored sauce. This sauce is the magic.

Ok, so this is all well and good, if you have a Panini press. What if you don't though? How can you do this?

The answers are pretty simple.

First off, the lines from the grill style press are not important. They are pretty, but not required. So you can use any skillet to grill these.

So now we just need weight. You can use a cast iron skillet and just set it on top of the sandwich. Or you can even use a 9X13 baking pan with water in it, or pyrex glass baking dish to set on top of the sandwich.

You simply place your sandwich on the skillet, butter side down, but not buttering the top. You place your weight on top (skillet, pan, whatever) and let it cook for a few minutes.

Remove the weight, then butter the top and flip the sandwich. Then put the weight back on till the sandwich is done.

That's all there is to it.

Thanks for reading!

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