Lemon Pepper Chicken Panini
This weeks “Date Night Dinner” is maybe more of a lunch, although I do like the ocassional sandwich for dinner. Sometimes you just don’t want a huge meal.
But if you are going to have a sandwich, and its going to be for dinner, it should be a really great sandwich, like a panini. I don’t remember the first panini I ever had but I think for the money they are by far the best thing since sliced bread……..ha, ha. I am not sure if its a rule or not but, a panini should always be on ciabatta bread. It is far and away the best……..
I am kinda the Queen of cleaning out the refrigerator. As I looked in it I saw that there were some lemons that needed to be used, a half a log of goat cheese, a container of mixed greens, a half an onion and half a loaf of ciabatta. Well lemon pepper marinade is always good with chicken. The goat cheese could be spread on the bread……….if I grilled the onions along with the chicken……hum………. now I was getting an idea……Panini! I could top it off with the mixed green after it was grilled. But it need a little something more so a Balsamic Drizzle was just the ticket. Serve it up with your favorite chips or a nice pasta salad or if our weather is any indicator…….brrrrrrrr……….. maybe a nice cup of soup.
Now if you do not have one, I really encourage you to get yourself a grill pan. They are awesome.You can get them in non-stick, cast iron, and you can use them in a variety of ways. The other item that is great to have for making a panini is a press. Now the one I have was purchased in the camping section but I am sure that you can get them other places. Its a cast iron plate with a handle that weights a ton……..ok not a ton, but enough to really press down on a sandwich and give it those great grill marks and flatten the sandwich. It is not necessary by an means but its a great little tools to have……So regardless if you have a grill pan or just use a skillet a Lemon Pepper Chicken Panini will make a great “Date Night Dinner”.
Lemony Pepper Chicken on grilled ciabatta.
- 3/4 pound chicken tenders
- 1 recipe Lemon Pepper Marinade (on this site)
- 1/2 large onion sliced
- 2 ounces goat cheese
- 1/2 loaf ciabatta bread
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup mixed green
- Balsamic Drizzle
- Place chicken in a plastic bag and cover with marinade. Marinade at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Remove chicken from marinade and discard the marinade. Heat a grill pan sprayed with a nonstick spray over medium high heat. Cook chicken tenders until cooked completely through. Place cooked chicken on a plate and set aside. In the same pan cook the onions until golden and caramelized. Move to the side with the chicken.
- Clean the grill pan.
- To assemble the panini, cut the ciabatta loaf in half. Spread goat cheese on the bottom half of the bread. Top with the chicken and the grilled onions. Replace the top. Spread the butter on the top and bottom outside of the ciabatta bread. Heat the grill pan over medium heat. Place the sandwich on heated grill pan and grill on both sides until lightly browned and the bread has nice grill marks.
- Place grilled panini on cutting board. Lift the top of the sandwich off and place the mixed green on the sandwich followed by a drizzle of the Balsamic Drizzle. Replace the top of the panini and cut into four pieces. Serve with your favorite chips or a pasta salad.
If you do not have a grill pan you can use a skillet.
Zesty Lemon Pepper Marinade
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons garlic pepper
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Pour over what ever meat or fish you are marinating. Marinade for at least 30 minutes or longer.
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to a syrupy consistency. Let cool.
Makes about 1/2 cup.