We very rarely cook the same thing twice in one week around here. Sure, we enjoy leftovers regularly, but to actually cook the same exact thing two days in a row is very unusual…until now. We scarfed these panini down so quickly that as soon as our plates were clean we turned to each other with wide eyes and said “let’s have these again tomorrow night.”
It was hard to decide which element of these melty hot sandwiches I loved the most: the cumin scented, buttery crust on the outside of the naan, the mango chutney, the soft and gooey cheese center, or just the happy marriage of all of the bold flavors in each bite. And the cheddar/apple combination? Amazing. Sharp cheddar cheese and apple slices were one of my favorite childhood snacks, so it’s no surprise that I still love them today! The original recipe called for roasted turkey (think Thanksgiving leftovers here people!), but we had some chicken deli meat that needed to be used up, so we used that instead. I think turkey would be great, as would some leftover roasted or grilled chicken. You could definitely have fun with these – try different cheeses, see what you like. But I warn you – you’re going to want to buy extra ingredients so you can make it again the next night.
Chicken Panini with Apples and Chutney
Source: Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese, or more if you like it cheesier (I do!)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup Major Grey’s mango chutney
4 naan breads (we tried garlic and plain, and both were great)
12 ounces sliced cooked chicken or turkey breast
Half of a Fuji or Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
A few slices of red onion
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
Heat a panini press according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, heat a nonstick grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
While the press is heating, combine the cheese and cilantro together in a small bowl. Spread the chutney on one half of each of the naan breads. Top the same half with a small amount of the cheese mixture. Then top that with the chicken, apple slices, and red onion. Finally, divide the remaining cheese mixture evenly among all four sandwiches. Fold the naan in half to cover the sandwich filling. Combine the melted butter with the cumin and brush it on the outsides of each sandwich.
Put the sandwiches on the panini press, pull the top down, and cook until browned and crisp, 3 to 6 minutes, depending on how hot your machine is. If using a grill pan or nonstick skillet, put a heavy pan (I use my cast iron skillet) on top of the sandwiches and cook, turning once. Carefully remove from the press and serve.