Leftover chicken? Make a Panini!

imageI try to anticipate how much my family will eat for dinner but sometimes, I am just plan wrong.  Someone can’t come home for dinner, doesn’t like dinner, ate lunch late so they are not hungry, etc. Sometimes we have leftovers.  Not planned overs, where I know I will use the leftovers to make an entire meal…but real leftovers.

I volunteer for a free breakfast program once a week for people who just won’t get a breakfast any other way except by going to this free breakfast.  I think this is why I hate wasting food.  Or it might come from my mother’s “There are starving people, you should not waste your food.”  Whatever it is, I try not to waste food.  Even, though, I do throw out my fair share of food.

Normally, my husband and I keep leftovers in check by eating them for lunch.  My husband has no problem taking any leftovers for lunch except fish.  We all know it smells too much when it’s heated in the microwave.  There could be a mutiny at work.  So, fish stays home.

Sometimes I have just a lonely piece of chicken or steak or pork and I try to make it into something else for lunch.  Today was one of those days.  I had this lonely piece of roasted chicken in my refridgerator and decided it would be lunch.

imageThere is an old Pampered Chef recipe for a Chicken Broccoli Braid.  I, like so many others love this recipe.  But the main filling can be used in making a sandwich or panini.  I opted for the panini and it came out fabulous!  (the fabulous is for my niece Erin…she says its my word).

imageHere is how I adapted the recipe.  It’s really a rough recipe because I don’t really measure when I cook:

Chicken Broccoli Panini

  • 1 piece of cooked boneless skinless chicken
  • a few broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 clove of garlic, pressed
  • 1/4 small onion
  • 2 tbs or more of mayonaise
  • 1/4 tsp of dried dill
  • 4 slices of bread of your choice (sturdy bread is best)
  • a little butter for the bread

Put chicken, broccoli, cheese, garlic, and onion in your food processor.  Pulse until it is incorporated into smallish pieces.  Only about 4 – 5 pulses.

Add mayo and dill and  pulse a few times until all mixed.

Heat your panini or grill pan with press.

Assemble sandwiches and butter both sides of the sandwiches.  Put sandwich on heated pan and top with press.  After 2 minutes or less, flip and press again for another minute or two.  You are done!  Enjoy!

If you do not want a hot sandwich, you can always use the mixture as a chicken salad and serve it cold.

Let me know what you think of this recipe and what you do with small leftovers.



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