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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.)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.