Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chicken Paninis with a side of salad tossed with my Risingwoods Vinaigrette

Ingredients for the Risingwoods Vinaigrette:

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons real maple syrup (preferably amber grade)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced or 1 teaspoon dried
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dried cranberries, minced
1/3 cup canola oil

Mix the first 6 ingredients well. Whisk in the canola oil. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Grilled Chicken Panini (makes 4)

2 large chicken breasts, butterflied and flattened slightly
8 slices sharp cheddar cheese, or 1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup fresh baby spinach
4 ciabatta rolls

Marinate the chicken breasts in 1/3 cup of the Risingwoods vinaigrette for 2-8 hours, or overnight.

Remove chicken from marinade and dry lightly with a paper towel. Grill chicken (indoors or out) for about 5 minutes on each side, depending on how thin you pounded it. It might be more or less, just be sure to cook through, but not overcook.

Slice rolls open. Toss spinach with 1/3 cup of the vinaigrette. It should be very wet. Pile spinach on bottom of rolls. Place 1 slice of cheese on top of spinach. Place grilled chicken on top of cheese, and the remaining slice of cheese on top of that. If using shredded cheese, just split 1/4 cup for each sandwich. Cover with other half of the roll.

If you have a panini machine or electric grill, like Foreman, grill the sandwich, pressing as you go, until the cheese is melted. If you don’t have one of these machines, you can grill the sandwich in any heavy skillet and use another heavy skillet to weigh it down. Some people even cover bricks with foil and grill the sandwiches on an outdoor grill.

Serve with greens tossed in the remainder of the vinaigrette.


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