Deep breath… now wipe the drool off your mouth…
and try not to scream in utter excitement when you realize you can have Panera in your home, all from scratch!
Yes… I am serious, and no it’s not difficult!
Panera is seriously an addiction for me. I could eat there everyday and not get sick of it! My favorite sandwich is their Chipotle Chicken Panini. So, naturally I had to try and best them and make my own! And I was very happy with my results!
I’ll tell ya one thing, you will need either a panini maker, or a grill pan. Everything else is easy peasy and most items you will find already stocked in your kitchen! We purchased this amazing grill pan on clearance at Williams Sonoma, it’s Le Creuset brand (aka. very expensive but totally worth the quality!) and worked just as great as a panini maker would.
I started out by making the chipotle mayo. Take your food processor and place mayo (or greek yogurt for a lighter touch), chipotles, adobo sauce, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Process until a mayo consistency results, just a brief moment.
Take your chicken and if you didn’t find cutlets, pound your chicken breasts until they are about 1 inch thick, Take your rub and sprinkle over chicken on both sides and gently rub evenly. Heat your grill pan with some olive oil on medium-high. Wait a few minutes until the grill pan is hot. Take your chicken and grill for about 5-8 minutes on each side.
Take your chicken off the pan, and cut into strips. Cut your bread lengthwise, then cross wise into the size of your desired panini sandwich. Spoon your chipotle mayo on the bread, add your lettuce, then chicken, then cheese. Top with second piece of bread. Drizzle olive oil on the pan and turn the heat down to medium. Place your panini on the pan, take a spatula and press down to flatten the sandwich. Press hard for about 2 minutes, then carefully flip over and repeat for another two minutes on the other side.
Enjoy with a side of chips or apple and you’re practically in Panera!
Next time I will try a take on a Pick Two Soup and Half Sandwich so stay tuned!!
Things you’ll need:
1 cup mayo (or greek yogurt)
2 chipotles in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1/2 juice of a lime
1 clove of garlic
pinch of salt & pepper
2-4 boneless skinless chicken cutlets (or breasts, pounded with a tenderizer)
Chipotle or spicy rub
Chipotle Mayo (see above)
Cheese of your choice (I used Boar’s Head Chipotle Ghouda.. amazing!)
Olive oil for grill pan