The first Panini Sunday of Autumn 2014 was actually last week. I made a sopressata, genoa salami and fresh mozzarella panini that turned into a greasy, sloppy mess. Worse, there were spots in the meat that got hotter than others, so in those spaces where the sandwich did hold up, you could incinerate your tongue.
So, we’ll pretend that this was the first week of panini season here and say that last week was like a preseason game.
I actually cheated in terms of the chicken, in that I bought a rotisserie chicken from the store (Side note: Costco roto chicken is far superior to any version sold in Syracuse-area supermarkets. Much juicier, a lot more flavor and not as much waste.). At that point, it was just a matter of breaking the bird down, eating the wings (you’re not going to use the wing meat anyways. Consider it your reward for the hard work on the cutting board.), and making the sandwiches.
The cheese was an easy choice. Mild bries are like the butter version of cheese. It spreads nice, melts well and provides a great contrast to the tangy dijon mustard you will use.
WHAT WORKED: The roto chicken. It’s so much easier and cheaper than prepping your own meat for a sandwich.
WHAT DIDN’T: I broke my panini maker. The clip that holds my 2+ year old DeLonghi-brand press closed snapped right off. The top had enough weight for this sandwich, but for something thicker I might need a pan or something heavy to set on top.
WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “Brie? Oooooh. Brie.”
WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Sure. Next time, I might use a grainy dijon.
Chicken and Brie Paninis
By Jared Paventi
- Four slices crusty bread
- Dijon mustard
- 1/4 lb. mild Brie cheese, at room temperature and rind removed
- Meat from a cooked rotisserie chicken
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Herbes de provence
Preheat your panini maker per the manufacturer’s instructions.
In the meantime, add a thin layer of Dijon mustard to two slices of bread so that the bread is a different color, but the nooks of the bread are still visible. With a butter knife, spread the Brie on the other two slices of bread. You can vary how much cheese you use based on preference.
Top the brie sides with chicken, to create an even layer of meat on the bread. Top with the Dijon sides.
In a small bowl, mix together the oil and herbs with a fork or pastry brush. Brush a light coating of the infused oil on the top side of each sandwich.
Add to the preheated panini grill and cook 8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sandwiches have a caramel brown color.