This Chicken Caprese Panini is so easy and flavorful! In this pressed sandwich, moist and tender slices of seasoned chicken breast is drizzled with balsamic glaze and then topped with tomato, parmesan, basil and mozzarella and sandwiched between ciabatta. Serves 4.
My latest obsession = this chicken caprese sandwich.
I blame my daughter for this. Ever since she brought this tropical smoothie sandwich home to me – I’ve been obsessed. So much in fact that I started making it at home, which as you can imagine, is a million times better. They’re great as is or served with soup!
Over the weekend Mal picked me up some ciabatta rolls from her work, just so I could make them for lunch on Sunday. So of course I grabbed my camera and shot the recipe. It was an overcast and gray michigan day (if you know, you know) so the photos are meh. But I promise you these sandwiches are amazing!
To Make This Chicken Caprese Panini You Will Need:
- chicken breasts – Boneless skinless and butterflied all the way through (thin cut).
- kosher salt – Used for dry brining adding flavor and moisture. More on that below.
- lemon pepper – Adds bright citrusy notes with sharp peppery bite.
- ciabatta rolls – If they are the take-and-bake kind, there’s no need to bake first.
- balsamic glaze – Reduced balsamic vinegar is sweet and syrupy.
- tomato – It’s not caprese without tomato. Use your favorite!
- parmesan cheese – Lends a fruity, nutty and slightly salty flavor.
- basil – If in a pinch, slather the top or the bottom roll with 1 tablespoon pesto.
- mozzarella cheese (slices) – I use part skim mozzarella slices, but shredded or fresh whole milk can be used.
Measure 3/4 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt and use it to sprinkle both sides of 2 thin-cut chicken breasts. I’m making a double batch, hence the extra chicken in the bowl, so I did need to use a more. Set this off to the side for 25 to 30 minutes or up to 1 hour (for boneless skinless chicken breasts). This method is call dry brining. I first learned of this quick magical trick when Pat and I smoked chicken breasts over the summer.
WHAT IS DRY BRINING?
Dry brining is a quick way to brine meat without going through the whole rigamarole of making a wet brine. In a nutshell? It’s salting your meat and let it rest before cooking. Which is great when you’re short on time because meat can soak in a wet brine for hours! Dry brining works by drawing out moisture, breaking down the salt and then the chicken reabsorbs the salty “brine”, not only seasoning it throughout the meat but also tenderizing it as well. Dry brining does not dry your chicken out whatsoever. Instead, dry brining will yield juicy tender chicken every single time. That is, as long as you don’t overcook your chicken. 😉
Once the chicken ready, season with lemon pepper. I don’t measure, I just sprinkle and toss to coat.
I cooked the chicken in my air fryer at 390° for 11 to 12 minutes (or until fully cooked), turning it halfway through, and the let rest before slicing. You could also grill (outdoor or indoor) or pan fry.
Cut your ciabatta rolls in half horizontally, top with sliced chicken and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon balsamic glaze.
Top with a tomato slice, 1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese and 4 large basil leaves.
Lastly, top with a slice of mozzarella (or use shredded) and replace the top half of the bun.
Mist the bottom of your panini press with olive oil spray before preheating. My panini press is old, but I’ve linked the newer version of this one in the recipe printable at the end of this post.
Mist the tops or your sandwiches with olive oil spray and place onto the preheated press.
Close the lid and let the press do it’s think until the top is golden and the cheese has melted.
Cut in half.
So ridiculously easy yet the flavor is *chefs kiss*💋
Chicken Caprese Panini
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, (thin cut)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ to 2 tablespoons lemon pepper, or to taste. (I usually eyeball it)
- 4 ciabatta rolls, halved horizontally
- 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze, or to preference
- 4 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 4 slices tomato
- 16 fresh basil leaves
- 4 slices mozzarella cheese
- Hamilton Beach Panini Press
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