This recipe has all the ingredients for an amazing meal: sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, fresh mozzarella, garlic, etc…. but somewhere it fell apart in the execution. I guess this post shows that not every meal at our house turns out as it is supposed to (even though I usually only post the better ones) 😉 and that there is definitely room for improvement. I plan to make a few modifications to the meal which I will note in the “Food for Thought” section and make this again sometime soon.
Rosemary Chicken Panini with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light magazine, January 2012 issue
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 chicken breasts
1/4 c. oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, chopped
pinch crushed red pepper
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 c. fresh baby spinach
8 slices Italian bread
12 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly
butter for bread
Combine 1 Tbsp. olive oil, rosemary, 3 garlic cloves, and chicken breasts in large zipper bag. Seal, mix, and marinate at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and heat remaining olive oil. Add sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper, and garlic and saute 1-2 minutes until garlic begins to brown. Add spinach and saute until spinach is just wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside in a bowl for later.
In same skillet, add chicken breasts and cook about 6 minutes per side until completely cooked through. Remove from heat and slice chicken thinly.
Lightly butter one side of bread and place 4 sliced of bread, butter side down on a grilling pan or skillet. Layer chicken, 1/4th of the spinach mixture, and slices of mozzarella on the bread and put an additional slice of bread on top. Grill over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes per side until cheese is melty and both sides of bread are toasted.
Food for Thought: I think the next time I make this meal, I am going to use a heartier bread than the recipe called for. The Italian bread simply seemed to fall apart in the grilling process and thus the sandwich was eaten with a fork rather than fingers. I plan to maybe try a foccocia or cibatta bread next time to see how it goes. The fillings of the sandwich were delicious but I also may up the amount of sun-dried tomatoes as I really like that flavor and I thought it was a bit overpowered by the rest of the ingredients. Let me know if you try it and find any good adaptations to the recipe that I could try too!