Monday, August 27, 2012

Buffalo chicken panini

For my birthday this year my girlfriend's parents got me a Cuisinart Griddler, which is a panini press/griddle/grill/waffle maker. Since then I've been experimenting with different types of paninis. I made version of the turkey avocado grilled cheese sandwich I'd previously posted, along with a sliced chicken and brie on focaccia sandwich. I was pleased with how both of those turned out. If you're looking for a panini press, I'd recommend the Griddler. It's worked very well and has a bunch of different functions. The griddle plates pop right out which makes it easy to clean after each use.

Most recently I made a buffalo chicken panini sandwich. I found this recipe on The blue cheese and caramelized onions are a really nice cool contrast to the spicy buffalo sauce. I used Wing-Time medium buffalo sauce, which had a nice kick without being too hot for me. The recipe uses pita bread for the sandwiches. I decided to go with some focaccia loaves from Trader Joe's. 

1-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into 1/2″ strips
12-oz. bottle of Buffalo wing sauce (i.e., Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce)
1 tablespoon butter
1 large red onion, sliced into thin rings
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
4-6″ pita breads
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled

1. Add chicken and Buffalo wing sauce to a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through well.
2. While the chicken is simmering, heat butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute onions for 13 minutes until soft. Stir in sugar and saute for another 10 minutes or until onions are caramelized. Set aside.
3. Assemble and grill each sandwich one at a time. Place 1/4 of the caramelized onions on each sandwich. Add chicken on top of the onions with a slotted spoon, draining most of the sauce through the spoon. Top the chicken with about 2 tablespoons of the blue cheese.
4. Transfer it to the panini press. Grill for 5 minutes until cheese is melted and bread is toasted. Serve hot.

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