Chicken Panini with Basil Aoili

  • Yield: servings


4large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded about 1/2 thick
1tablespoon fresh thyme
1/2tablespoon dried or fresh rosemary
1/2tablespoon teaspoon dried oregano
1tablespoon kosher salt
1/2tablespoon black pepper
2large garlic cloves, minced
4tablespoons olive oil
2tablespoons lemon juice
1large loaf of ciabatta or other crusty, hearty bread
1large tomato, sliced
1-- red onion, thinly sliced
5large arugula leaves
1-- roasted red pepper, fresh or jarred
5-- (1/4-inch) slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4cup mayonnaise
2tablespoons lemon juice
1/2cup store-bought basil pesto
Olive oil for drizzling


  1. Finely chop the rosemary and thyme and combine in a bowl with the oregano, salt, pepper, minced garlic, oil and lemon juice. Spread the mix onto the chicken breast and allow to sit covered at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a grill pan or saute pan and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place the chicken in the hot pan and allow to cook, without touching for about 3-4 minutes per side or until fully cooked. Remove and allow to rest.
  3. Wipe down the pan and reheat with some additional non-stick cooking spray. Slice the loaf length-wise and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Place crust-side up, onto the grill pan and allow to cook for a few minutes or until toasted.
  4. Remove and assemble the sandwich.
  5. Mix the pesto with mayo and lemon and spread on the bread. Layer the cheese, chicken (cut smaller if needed to fit on the bread), tomato, arugula and red onion. Press the sandwich down firmly, and place back into the pan. Turn the pan on medium heat and place another heavy saute pan on top of a piece of aluminum foil and place on top of the sandwich.
  6. Allow the sandwich to heat through for about 3 minutes per side.
  7. Serve the aoili on the side for dipping. Slice into portions and enjoy!