Week 3, Meal 3: Grilled chicken caprese panini

Counting this morning, I’ve had pesto four days in a row with lunch and dinner (and breakfast today).

I’m not tired of it one bit. Not because it has plenty of salty Parmesan in there, but because the bright basil adds so much freshness to each dish.

For Week 3, Meal 3 Chef Brian succeeds with simplicity with a flavorful grilled chicken caprese panini.

The Recipe (Yield: 2 servings)
1 6-8 oz. chicken breast
2 sandwich rolls, preferably ciabatta (Trader Joe’s par-baked ciabatta rolls are great)
1 medium sized heirloom tomato (roma or vine ripe okay, too)
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese (ovoline), sliced
remaining basil pesto (from Week 3, Meal 1)

Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 20 min.

Preheat your grill to medium-high and butterfly 1 6-8 oz. chicken breast.

I preheated my grill and then took longer than expected (we had company) so I turned the grill to low. Then I forgot when I put the chicken down so I didn’t get any sear action until I adjusted the heat. Oh, well.

Grill your chicken breast about two minutes per side (four minutes total) and then let rest.

While its resting, get the rest of your work done. Also, this would be a fine time to preheat your panini press. Alternatives are the George Foreman Grill or these methods.

Thinly slice 1 medium heirloom tomato. I used roma tomato instead.

Do the same to 1 ball of ovaline mozzarella (ovaline signifies the shape of the cheese).

Split 2 ciabatta rolls and divide the remaining pesto sauce from Week 3 (recipe).

To assemble, layer alternating slices of tomato and cheese on bottom roll. Top with chicken and top roll. Heat in the panini press and slice in half.

I loved the gooey cheese and juicy tomato, but the addition of the savory chicken rounds out this flavorful sandwich.

Then there’s the pesto. Unlike the apples and gruyere or fig jam from earlier meals, this garlic-y green sauce stands on its own, elevating the sammy past regular ol’ meat-cheese-bread combos.

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6 thoughts on “Week 3, Meal 3: Grilled chicken caprese panini”

  1. looks yummy. If you are cooking on the stove how long do you have to cook the chicken? We don’t have a grill and would have to use a skillet or a hot griddle on the stove (gas).

    Look like a simple and tasty meal. Good suggestion about the George F. grill too.

    Jim

  2. If you butterfly the chicken like the picture shows, the chicken will only take 3-4 minutes to cook in a saute pan. If you want to keep it healthy, just use a little cooking spray in the pan as opposed to sauteeing the chicken in oil.

    1. Thanks Bryan! I agree on the portion size. Every time I think something is too small to fill me up, it does the trick every time. It’s helping me to learn not to overeat, or to give my body the time it needs to digest.

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