Italian Chicken Panini in a Waffle Iron
If you've been looking for an excuse to buy a waffle iron, look no further! It makes a great stand-in for a panini press, yielding an extra-crispy panini. Of course, you can also make this the traditional way by toasting it in butter melted in a heavy skillet. (Place a second skillet over the sandwich and weigh it down with a brick or a few heavy cans to press the sandwich.)
- 1 boneless skinless Chicken Breast(about 1/4 pound)
- ¼ cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
- 1 Egg beaten
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- ¼ cup loosely packed Fresh Basil
- 2 Tablespoons chopped sun-dried Tomatoes rehydrated in warm water
- 4 thin slices Italian Bread
- 1 ounce Fresh Mozzarella sliced
- Marinara Sauce for serving
Cut chicken breast in half, width-wide, so you have two thin pieces of chicken. Pound to 1/4-inch thickness. In a shallow dish, mix bread crumbs and Italian seasoning. Dredge chicken in egg, then in seasoned bread crumbs.
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. When hot, add the chicken – it should immediately begin to sizzle. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
Heat waffle iron.
Add basil, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1 tablespoon soaking liquid to a food processor or blender. Pulse several times until a thick pesto is formed. Spread over each slice of bread. Top two piece of bread with chicken and mozzarella; cover with remaining bread.
Spray heated waffle iron with cooking spray. Add the sandwiches; close lid firmly to press sandwiches. Cook 5 minutes, or until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.
Serve with marinara sauce, for dipping.