Chicken Panini with Fig Jam, Arugula, and Blue Cheese

Chicken Panini with Fig Jam, Arugula, and Blue Cheese

Another delicious panini (have we been making a lot lately? Or is it just me? I’m counting on the fact that you all love paninis as much as we do and aren’t yet getting sick of them.) The secret ingredient in this one? Fig jam (which is surprisingly hard to find… I think we got luck with this one.) Subtly sweet, just enough to make you feel like you’re eating a chicken and blue cheese dessert. Well, not quite dessert, but the sweetness is an unexpected and delicious element… and when paired with the bitter arugula, well, it’s something worth repeating.

Case in point: we’ve made this twice (a rare occurrence for us – something has got to be REALLY good for us to drag it out of our archives and make it again).

The first time we used goat cheese (because we were convinced our month-old remnant of blue cheese was growing mold – go figure), and then again this week with some newly purchased blue cheese. I’m sure Taylor wouldn’t hesitate in saying he preferred the later. For me, on the other hand… goat cheese is always the winner in my book. I felt that it didn’t overpower the subtlety of the jam like the blue cheese did. You could use either.

Not to mention we get to add another rotisserie chicken to the stockpile in the freezer… we’re always looking for creative uses for rotisserie chickens for just that very reason. Gotta keep the chicken stocked for stock!

Chicken Panini with Fig Jam, Arugula, and Blue Cheese

Makes 4 servings. Recipe from Cooking Light.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup fig jam
1 (8-ounce) ciabatta, cut lengthwise
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
8 ounces sliced or shredded cooked chicken breast
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups arugula leaves
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Spread jam over cut side of top half of bread. Combine cheese and butter in a bowl, stirring until smooth (if using goat cheese, skip this step). Spread cheese mixture over cut side of bottom half of bread. Arrange chicken evenly over cheese mixture; sprinkle with pepper. Place top half of bread, jam side down, over chicken.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add sandwich to pan. Place a heavy cast-iron skillet on sandwich; cook 5 minutes or until both sides are browned, turning once.

Place arugula in a bowl. Drizzle juice over arugula; toss gently. Remove top bread half from sandwich. Arrange arugula mixture over chicken. Replace top bread half. Cut sandwich into 4 equal portions.