Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Barbecued Chicken with Blue Cheese and Celery Paninis

My panini press has been neglected lately. I just felt like I was always making the same sandwiches with them, so I got the genius idea to look up panini cookbooks at the library instead of buying one. I heart the library...especially for cookbooks! Since I have an overwhelming cookbook collection already, it's a nice way to indulge in my guilty pleasure without dropping a small fortune.

So I flipped through the book and found several that sounded good. Unfortunately some have really obscure (or expensive...or both) ingredients, and some there is no way the husband would touch them with a ten foot pole. I'll still have to copy them down before the book is due back.

The husband is actually sick today, but when I asked if he'd want dinner he asked what the choices were and thought these sounded good. The other choice, by the way, was Shepherd's Pie, which we were supposed to have last night, but due to some issues at our vet's office (i.e. they're slow and incompetent and ALWAYS take forever to get simple things done), there wasn't going to be time to make it and pick up the dog before they closed. So it was a mac & cheese and hot dog night. Anyway...on to the recipe.

Barbecued Chicken with Blue Cheese and Celery Paninis
1-1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) shredded barbecue chicken
3 Tbsp barbecue sauce (optional)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 scallion (white and light green parts), finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 ciabbata rolls or store-bought Italian rolls
1 celery stalk, trimmed, tough outer strings peeled away, and thinly sliced

Heat a panini or sandwich press. Combine the chicken and barbecue sauce, if using, in a small bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Slice the rolls in half and spread some blue cheese dressing on the inside of each roll. Arrange the celery on the bottom halves of the rolls. Pile the chicken on top of the celery. Top each sandwich with the top half of the roll.

Put the sandwiches on the press, pull the top down, and cook until they are brown and crisp, 4-7 minutes, depending on the machine. Carefully remove from the press and serve immediately.


I don't think I'm really changing things up except that I have some foccacia rolls I'm using instead of ciabatta. I just realized I need to go hustle so we can eat at 6:00. Not sure what we'll have with it, I may throw some tater tots into the oven because I have them and they're easy.

Oh, and I didn't have any barbecue chicken laying around so I just cooked up some chicken breasts and shred them, then I'm going to mix them with some BBQ sauce. This would be a great use for leftover chicken meat from cooking a whole chicken!

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