Chicken Parmesan Panini! Get into it
The first thing I ever cooked for someone, outside of my immediate family, was Chicken Parmesan. It was in college, my freshman year, and I really wanted to make my tennis team dinner one night… so I studied up and watched an obscene amount of Food Network and kicked off my cooking career with Chicken Parm. It’s been my signature ever since. I’m fairly certain that I made this at least once a week for my entire 4 years of college. It became my signature and to this day I get excited when it’s Chicken Parmesan night.
Last week we went to the Hollywood Bowl for the first time ever. How on earth we’ve lived in LA for 5 years and NOT been to the Hollywood Bowl is embarrassing. But whatever, we went and it’s seriously one of the coolest venues ever. If you’re ever in LA, you absolutely must go! Word on the street is they have sing-along concerts… and you can bet I will be there for the next Grease sing-along!
I packed us a big picnic (sparkling wine included) before heading to the concert. Hollywood Bowl is awesome for many reasons, one large perk being the fact that you can bring wine and food into the venue. Bingo. That’s my kinda concert. I made a batch of Chicken Parmesan Panini’s for the crew and wrapped them up, packed them in my super cute What’s Gaby Cooking tote and went to the bowl!
The panini’s were fantastic! Who wouldn’t want a perfectly cooked breaded chicken breast with fresh mozzarella on top, slathered in tomato sauce and layered with freshly picked basil from my garden and pressed between 2 pieces of ciabatta. Whew! How’s that for a long sentence?
So let’s do it! Chicken Parmesan Panini time
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 ball of fresh mozzarella
- freshly grated parmesan cheese
- freah basil
- 4 small loaves of ciabatta
- The the vegetable oil over medium high heat in a large sauté pan.
- Place each chicken breast into a large plastic zip top bag, one at a time, and pound the chicken with a mallet until it's about 1/2 inch thick throughout.
- Prepare a breading station, one bowl of flour, one bowl of whisked eggs (season with salt and pepper) and one bowl of bread crumbs.
- Dip each chicken breast into the flour mixture. Followed by the egg mixture. Then dip into bread crumbs.
- Carefully place the chicken in hot oil over medium high heat and cook for about 2 minutes until the bread crumbs are golden brown. Using a pair of tongs, flip the chicken over and let it continue to cook on the opposite side. Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the pan and set it on a paper towel lined plate to rest. Repeat this process with the remaining chicken.
- Once all the chicken is cooked, slice the ciabatta loaves in half. Slather the bottom layer of the bread with marinara sauce and place a chicken breast on top. Add another spoonful of sauce, a few slices of fresh mozzarella, some freshly grated parmesan cheese and then top it with some basil. Add the top of the bread on and carefully place the panini in a heated panini press. Close the panini press and cook for 4-5 minutes until the bread has grill marks and it's slight toasted.
- Repeat this process with the remaining paninis.
- These can be serve immediately, or if you're taking them on a picnic, wrap them with aluminum foil and pack away.