Buffalo chicken panini

It’s a buffalo wing sandwich. So simple. So beautiful.

Buffalo Chicken is a good base for everything. Dips, macaroni & cheese, and definitely sandwiches. This one comes from Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio. It’s a basic sandwich, yes, but with a nice homemade blue cheese dressing on top of it that’s world’s better than the bottle of salad dressing you have in the fridge. Give it a taste.

Recipe adapted from Tom Colicchio
Serves 2

4 slices 7-, 10- or whole grain bread
8 slices buffalo style chicken, lunch meat
1/2 bunch watercress
2 tbsp. chopped walnuts

1/2 cup mild blue cheese
2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 tbsp. crème fraîche
1 tbsp. buffalo sauce
1 tsp. celery seed
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
To make the dressing, whisk together the blue cheese and the buttermilk, followed by the remaining ingredients. this is going to make the dressing chunky, unlike a liquified store-bought bottle. As a twist, and because I like my hot sauce, I mix a tablespoon of the stuff right into the dressing to perk it up. Frankly, the “heat” from the lunch meat just doesn’t cut it. I also use celery seed seasoning here, instead of using actual celery in the sandwich, which Colicchio does. I’m just not a fan.
To assemble, top both slices of bread with the blue cheese mixture, then layer chicken, watercress and walnuts before closing it up. Just a note: Colicchio uses 2 tablespoons of walnuts per serving. I cut mine a little for caloric purposes, even though the nuts might be the healthiest thing on this.
Heat your sandwich press and butter each side of the press. I use no calories butter spray on both sides, which gets the job done without making your feel like a fatty. If you don’t have a sandwich press of course, you can cook it in a skillet or pan and simply press down on the sandwich or weigh it down.
Cook for 10 minutes.
Serve.
Messy.
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