Pan Grilled Chicken Panini for days when you long for warmer temperatures in anticipation of sun kissed moments while lounging in your own backyard in short shorts, tank tops and flip flops!
The ground was wet from the nights unusual rainfall considering the still colder temperatures, while the clouds were thick and grey signalling more rain to come.
With its prominent blue feathers and distinctive crest peaked with excitement, he wandered in the garden with his head bobbing around while scavenging over the partially frozen ground.
He was a sight to behold and a sharp contrast to what was definitely shaping up to be another dull and long gloomy Spring day!
I scrambled around in search of my camera wanting to capture its elegant beauty on film but alas when I returned to the rain paned window, the Blue Jay had already flown away…hopefully he found his ray of sunshine as it seems to have escaped us these last few days!
Pan Grilled Chicken Panini with a slathering of artichoke pesto and thinly sliced servings of prosciutto and lettuce make an irresistible lunch or dinner. How perfect these panini are to pack for outdoor picnics but also equally fun for indoor picnics as well.
They’re definitely my ray of sunshine on windy rainy days!
Cutting a chicken breast in half and pounding them to a 1/4 inch thick and then allowing them to soak in a quick brine is my preferred way of preparing this tasty meat. It’s a technique I learned from Fine Cooking Magazine and one that’s easily adapted to suit your own taste buds with your choice of fresh herbs and seasonings.
With this method, cooking time is reduced to 1 or 2 minutes per side and therefore yields a moist meat without drying it out.
The chicken slices also cook evenly since the thickness is pretty much consistent.
I fried some sage leaves and tucked them into the panini for some extra goodness. But don’t throw out the oil because there’s lots of yummy flavor there. Instead, use it to brush over the sliced buns and then either pan grill the bread or toast in the oven.
Overall these Pan Grilled Chicken Panini made a delicious usage for my leftover artichoke pesto! However you can just as easily go for store bought if you wish.
And now I’m wishing for some warmer temperatures to enjoy these panini outdoors!
If you make this recipe remember to tag @marisasitaliankitchen on Instagram so I can see your creation!
Pan Grilled Chicken Panini
- 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 6 to 8 ounces each)
- salt to your taste I use fine sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to your taste
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- freshly squeezed lemon juice from a 1/2 lemon
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 8 ciabatta buns
- 8 slices of prosciutto
- 1/2 cup artichoke pesto
- Boston lettuce or any green lettuce of your choice
- 8 fried large sage leaves optional, recipe below
PREPARE THE CHICKEN
Slice each chicken breast into 2 pieces widthwise across the grain.
Rinse each chicken breast piece with cold water and place them between two pieces of plastic wrap. (Do not pat dry)
Use a meat pounder to pound each piece of chicken to about a 1/4 each thick.
Transfer the chicken breasts on a baking sheet placing them in a single layer.
Season each slice of chicken with salt, pepper and chili flakes on both sides.
Mix together the minced garlic and chopped sage then rub this over both sides of the chicken breasts.
Drizzle the lemon juice and the oil on both sides of the chicken breasts while rubbing the meat to coat all over.
Cover and refrigerate the chicken for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small frying pan heat about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil till hot and fry the sage leaves for about 5 seconds on each side. Take care not to brown them otherwise they will be bitter.
Transfer the fried sage leaves to a tray lined with paper towels till ready to use.
Reserve the oil to brush over the sliced buns and toast in the oven @ 350 degrees F for about 5 minutes.
While the breads are toasting, remove the chicken from the fridge.
Grease a ridged grill pan with oil and heat until hot.
Arrange the chicken breasts on the hot grill pan, taking care not to crowd the pan and grill for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. (this will depend on the size and thickness of the chicken slices)
Transfer the cooked chicken to a serving platter and repeat with the remaining slices.
Drizzle the grilled chicken with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and start assembling the Panini.
Spread the panini halves with the artichoke pesto and top with a layer of lettuce, prosciutto and grilled chicken.
Place the top panini bun on and enjoy!