Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chicken Bacon Ranch Panini

Here's another recipe from Pioneer Woman...... I think I am seriously obsessed with the recipes on her blog now. I made this panini tonight for dinner and I can't even adequately describe how good it was. Kevin and I both took bites of it and just sat there without speaking for a second...I've never thought a sandwich would leave me speechless, but it did. It was that good. The ingredients are so simple too. I don't have a fancy panini maker, and didn't feel like "pressing it down in the skillet", so I busted out my trusty george foreman grill and it worked perfectly! You'll need a loaf of french bread for this sandwich...I got a loaf from the bakery at walmart for $1.49. Don't get a long skinny loaf, look for the biggest, fluffiest one. I used half for these sandwich's, and the other half to make garlic bread for last night's dinner so it didn't go to waste. I also opted to use the precooked bacon...oscar mayer brand. This was a first for me...I honestly have never microwaved bacon before and was kind of leery of it, but decided to try it because I knew it was a weeknight and I wouldn't feel like frying bacon at the end of the day. It was actually really good, I just popped it in the microwave for 40 seconds and that was that! It's definitely not better than bacon done in a skillet, but for a sandwhich topping it was perfect. The ingredients below made enough for 3 paninis, which was perfect for our family, but you can easily adjust to make more or less.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Panini

You will need:

-loaf of french bread, thinly sliced (I used 6 slices and saved the rest of the loaf)

-spicy mustard (I used kroger brand spicy brown mustard)

-ranch dressing (I used Kraft buttermilk ranch)

-block of sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced

-8 strips of bacon (I used pre-cooked oscar mayer)

-2 chicken breasts

-3-4 tablespoons butter, softened (I used real, salted butter)

*First prepare your chicken. You'll need to thin out your chicken breast by either pounding them with a mallett or "butterflying them". I chose to butterfly them. Just lay the chicken breast on the cutting board and make a horizontal cut almost all the way across the center of the chicken. Then, get your pan hot. I added about a tablespoon of the butter along with a few tablespoons of canola oil over med-high heat. Once the pan is hot, fry the chicken breasts for about 10 minutes (5 minutes per side) or until cooked through. (I salt and peppered them a little when they were in the pan.) Remove chicken from pan and thinly slice them up.

*Now get the bread ready. On one slice of bread spread a generous amount of spicy mustard...on the other side spread a generous amount of ranch dressing. On top of the mustard side, pile on the chicken, sliced cheddar cheese and bacon. Top with ranch dressing side and smush down a little with your hand so the sandwich sticks together and everything doesn't fall out. Meanwhile, get your george foreman or panini maker nice and hot.

*Next, spread the remaining softened butter on outside of each piece of bread and toast until golden brown and delicious. Enjoy!

Doesn't this look good? And yes, I have weird thumbs:)

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