Grilled chicken, bleu cheese spread, and caramelized onions finished with homemade buffalo sauce, and held together by sourdough bread… This Buffalo Chicken Panini is sure to please your favorite sandwich lover. Yum!
Can I share with you my worldview? All of humankind has one thing in common: the sandwich. I believe that all anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich.
— Liz Lemon, 30 Rock
Sandwiches, once the oft-maligned “main dish” in a brown bag lunch, have been promoted to the dinner table – at least they have at Andersen casa. 🙂 My husband is an amazing keyboard player, and he sometimes rehearses and has gigs several nights a week. We have found that keeping up with a food blog can be a challenge when dinner time is compressed by his need to be out the door by 6:45. My panini press is one of my favorite and most-used appliances on busy weeknights when I don’t have much time but still want to cook. A few good quality ingredients, a little creativity, and a panini press seldom disappoint. My Buffalo Chicken Panini comes together in short order, even if you have to grill the chicken. However, it is also a great way to use leftover grilled chicken, or a rotisserie chicken, and both will save a step and get dinner on the table even faster. Skip the drive-thru, and make a panini!
The inspiration for the sandwich came from a jar of Sósu Sauces Barrel-Aged Sriracha. As soon as it arrived yesterday, I opened the jar and tasted it. This small-production sauce is fabulous! The ingredients are simple and fresh tasting: chile peppers, brown sugar, garlic, and salt. This sauce has a permanent spot in my well-stocked pantry… I figured the simplicity of buffalo sauce would allow the sriracha to shine. Three ingredients – sriracha, butter, and garlic – provide the “zing” that complements the bleu cheese spread, grilled chicken, and caramelized onions. I chose a San Francisco Wheat Sourdough to hold these delicious ingredients together, and served the panini with fresh seasonal strawberries drizzled with spicy mango balsamic vinegar and garnished with fresh mint.
So, next time you think you have no time to cook, consider making a panini… A Buffalo Chicken Panini, or any panini. “Sit in peace and eat a sandwich.” It does a body good. 😉
- 4 tbsp. butter (half stick)
- 1 tsp. garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup good quality sriracha sauce (such as Sosu Sauces)
- 1/3 cup good quality sriracha sauce
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika*
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- several grinds pepper
- 2 medium onions, sliced thin
- drizzle of olive oil (to caramelize)
Bleu Cheese Spread
- 2 oz. bleu cheese (softened if you have time)
- 2 tbsp. plain nonfat Greek yogurt**
- 1 tbsp. stone ground mustard
- 8 slices sourdough bread
- Pound chicken breasts to even thickness (about 1/2" is fine). This step makes for more even cooking.
- Combine spices, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Rub all over the chicken breasts. Grill until no pink remains - about 6 to 8 minutes on a side.
- Slice in strips to fit your bread.
- In a small saute pan, drizzle olive oil. Bring to medium-high heat.
- Add sliced onions. Stir frequently, and reduce heat if necessary to keep them from browning too quickly. When onions are very soft, and nicely caramelized, turn off heat, and set aside. Depending on heat level, this can take 15 to 30 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add garlic. Stir until fragrant. Do not brown.
- Add sriracha sauce. Reduce heat to lowest setting. Simmer until you are ready to assemble sandwiches.
Bleu Cheese Spread
- In a small prep bowl, add bleu cheese, yogurt, and mustard.
- Using a fork, smash bleu cheese and combine with the yogurt and mustard until well-mixed.
- Smear the insides of the bread with bleu cheese spread.
- Arrange slices of chicken on one slice, and onions on the other.
- Drizzle with buffalo sauce.
- Bring the two halves together. Lightly brush the outside of the sandwich with buffalo sauce.
- Place in the panini press. Cook about 5 minutes until crust is well-toasted.
* Smoked paprika is my favorite for this rub, but chipotle powder, paprika, or ancho powder are great substitutes.
** I specified Greek yogurt, but I sometimes use softened neufchatel cheese in its place. Either one will work!
This is a really filling sandwich. I really can't eat the whole thing. You might want to look for smaller loaves to keep the size of the sandwich reasonable.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 499 Total Fat: 20g
This was not a “sponsored” post. I am always looking for fresh, high quality, non-processed foods to promote on my blog. Jessica from Sosu Sauces saw one of my Asian recipes and thought I might like to taste their sauces. I will never promote a product on my blog that I don’t love! I love their sauces, and you will be treated to recipes that use them in the weeks ahead. You can order online from their website at Sosu Sauces, and find them on Facebook.